Displaying items by tag: Too Much TV

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, April 29th, 2021

29 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, April 29th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by McDonald's coffee and random cut-up fruit.

THE STATE OF STREAMING
Conviva has released a report on the state of streaming during the first quarter of 2021. They analyzed content, social media, advertising, and quality of experience, including 1.8 trillion real-time events per day via 3.3 billion applications streaming on devices in 180 countries. You can download a copy here, but here are a few takeaways:

* Streaming viewership continued to skyrocket with time spent up by 36% as North America saw solid 18% year-over-year growth, but the true streaming explosion occurred internationally, with South America, Africa, and Europe all experiencing triple-digit growth.

* While Roku captured a significant 30% share of global big screen viewing time, this dominance was primarily driven by North America where it commanded 37% share in Q1 2021. In Europe, the second largest market for Roku, Roku only accounted for 8% share of the big screen, and it did not fare any better in other regions, with 4% share or less in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America.

*  Streaming on big screens accounted for 73% of global viewing time. While people are streaming more, they are at home on larger screens as smart TVs saw the biggest expansion of viewership with a 115% increase over Q1 of last year. In contrast, mobile phones, tablets, and desktops saw growth in line with the global average. 

* Overall growth over the last year was 36%, as on-demand content grew much faster with an almost 45% increase, while live streaming was up 14%. On demand now accounted for more than three quarters of all time spent streaming in Q1 with 76% share to live’s 24% share. 



HBO MAX RAMPS UP PRODUCTION IN LATIN AMERICA
HBO Max is launching in Latin America and the Caribbean in June and in anticipation of that expansion, the company announced today it plans to develop more than 100 local productions in Latin America over the next two years, 33 of which are already in production. All of the programs will be exclusive to HBO Max and will launch under the "HBO Max Originals" banner.

Some of the programs now in production include:

* An anthology stop-motion animated series about horror stories for children from Mexico called Frankelda's Book Of Spooks.

* Also from Mexico, the action comedy Bunker and the contemporary family and romantic drama Amarres.

* From Argentina, a four-episode long documentary series that will feature stories from the most relevant figures from Argentine soccer called Bilardo, El Doctor Del Futbol.

* Also from Argentina, a YA musical drama entitled Dias De Gallos.

AD-SUPPORTED HBO MAX TO COST $9.99 PER MONTH
CNBC is reporting that WarnerMedia’s June debut of an ad-supported version of HBO Max will reportedly cost subscribers $9.99 per month, compared to $14.99 for the current ad-free option that launched last May. According to the story, ads will not run on HBO content, but will run on HBO Max programming. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the ad load, etc and so far WarnerMedia has not confirmed (or denied) the accuracy of the story.

PEACOCK MAY OR MAY NOT BE DOING BETTER THAN EXPECTED
Comcast revealed this morning that its streaming service has had 42 million "sign-ups" to date. The sign-ups designation does not mean "subscribers," since Peacock is a hybrid free/paid service. So sign-ups will include people who have signed up for the free service. It also apparently includes customers who have transitioned over from the recently shuttered WWE Network, as well as Comcast and Cox pay-TV subscribers, who receive the premium version of Peacock for free.

THE CW UNVEILS EXPANDED SUMMER SCHEDULE
Everyone's favorite #4 broadcaster announced a number of summer premieres today as it continues to adjust its semi-post COVID schedule. In The Dark season three premieres June 23rd, Wellington Paranormal premieres July 11th, Coroner season three premieres July 15th, Dead Pixels season two premieres July 18th, Roswell, New Mexico season two premieres July 26th, Stargirl season two premieres August 10th, Riverdale season 5b returns on August 11th, Masters Of Illusion premieres on August 13th, the final season of Burden Of Proof premieres on August 19th and the final episodes of Supergirl will premieres on August 24th.

ODDS AND SODS
* In the least surprising media news today, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Verizon is exploring the sale of some or all of its media assets (subscription required)

* HBO is premiering the documentary Revolution Rent on June 15th. The film follows efforts to stage a production of the Broadway musical "Rent" in Cuba, which would be the first Broadway production to premiere in that country in over 50 years.

* BT is confirming that it is in talks that might result in the sale of its sporting arm. BT Sports most notably has the British rights to soccer's Champion's League.  The Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday that Amazon, Disney and Dazn were in talks with BT, but that an unnamed British broadcaster might also be in the running to buy the sports business.

* Later this year, Netflix plans to open a Nordic hub in Stockholm, which will serve as a regional production and executive center.  Last year, Netflix released Cadaver, its first original film from the region, and the company is planning to bring a wide variety of films to the service soon, including Dancing Queens,”Vinterviken, Against the Ice, Troll, and Black Crab.


CLASSIFIEDS:
Experience The Stream TV Show
Join the television community this June 15-17 at the largest event covering the biggest trends and topics in the industry today. We'll gather virtually with thousands of peers for keynotes, interviews, panels, case studies, an analyst roundtable, and more during the three day event. We'll have live chat and Q&A for front row access to speakers and sponsors unlike anything you've experienced before. PLUS - our networking feature will connect you for one-to-one meetings with those that share your same interests. Register for free here.


TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Chasing Ocean Giants (Discovery+)
Chasing Ocean Giants features modern sea explorer Patrick Dykstra who takes his camera to places others don’t dare to reveal the secrets of our ocean’s giants, from blue whales off the coast of Sri Lanka, to the biggest population of Orcas in the world in the Norwegian fjords. Patrick’s takes discovery+ audiences through some of the most difficult and hostile places on Earth with breathtaking rewards: scenery and displays of animal behavior the world has never seen before.

2) Deadhouse Dark (Shudder)
An anthology of six interconnected horror short films, Deadhouse Dark is anchored by a woman who receives a ‘mystery box’ from the dark web, each item within it gradually unveiling a dark and troubling truth. A boxful of dark and chilling tales of terror inspired by frighteningly familiar modern trends including dark web mystery boxes, dash cam footage and Insta-fame hungry vloggers. Deadhouse Dark is a giant mystery box of chocolates – while there is something in there to suit a variety of different tastes, in the end chocolate is still chocolate. And who doesn’t love chocolate?

3) Duff's Happy Fun Bake Time Series Premiere (Discovery+)
Join Duff Goldman in his laboratory kitchen, along with his puppet crew, as they explore the science behind cooking and baking to create some of the most popular foods on this new series from The Jim Henson Company. Each episode is a flavorful adventure that goes beyond food rules and recipes to discover how ingredients work together to create delicious dishes and desserts.

4) Flip Or Flop Season Premiere (HGTV)
The series continue to follow the divorced duo as they co-parent their two children and run a successful SoCal home reno and flipping business.

5) Let's Be Real Series Premiere (Fox)
Executive-produced and written by Robert Smigel (“Triumph The Insult Comic Dog”), the new series will debut new puppets from the worlds of entertainment and politics, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Ted Cruz, Kim Kardashian and LeBron James. Previously featured puppets, such as President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Donald J. Trump, Former Vice President Mike Pence and Kanye West, also will appear, as the satirical comedy series will cover politics and pop culture in 2021 through topical sketches, celebrity cameos and remote pieces.

6) Lucy The Human Chimp (HBO Max)
The documentary feature tells the profound story of Lucy Temerlin, a female chimpanzee raised as human from birth in a domestic environment, and Janis Carter, the woman who took on the seemingly impossible task of giving her a new life in the wild.

7) The Bad Seed (Sundance Now)
Simon Lampton (Matt Minto, Shortland Street, The Blue Rose), a respected obstetrician, has a lovely home in Herne Bay with two daughters and a beautiful wife, Karen (Jodie Hillock, The Inland Road): a well-organized mother and pillar of their community. Older brother Ford Dean O’Gorman, The Hobbit, Trumbo), once estranged and still rough around the edges, is staying in the spare room and appears to be the only outward disruption to Simon’s controlled life. But Simon has a secret-- he’s having an affair with a beautiful young woman from one of Auckland’s seediest suburbs. When Julia Stevens, the Lamptons’ neighbor, is murdered in her own home, Detective Marie Da Silva (Madeleine Sami, Super City) starts focusing on the Lampton household, and Simon’s attempt to cover up his affair begins to unravel his carefully constructed life.

8) The Big Shot With Bethenny Series Premiere (HBO Max)
In each half-hour episode, the next generation of business moguls will compete for a chance to be second-in-command to business tycoon and Skinnygirl founder Frankel, and win a coveted position working on her executive team. In business and in life, Frankel never settles and only accepts excellence. Through a series of real-life tasks and challenges, each aspiring mogul will be tested to see how far they can push their creativity and determination to rise to the top.

9) Things Heard & Seen (Netflix)
A Manhattan couple moves to a historic hamlet in the Hudson Valley and come to discover that their marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals their new home’s history. Based on the acclaimed novel by Elizabeth Brundage.

10) Yasuke Series Premiere (Netflix)
He came from Africa and fought alongside a mighty feudal lord in brutal 16th century Japan. They called him the Black Samurai, and he became a legend.


If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

28 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, April 28th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Dunkin' Donuts coffee and trail mix.

IT'S AS IF THEY WROTE THIS PIECE JUST FOR ME
As most of you have probably figured out already, I am somewhat obsessed with user experience (UX) issues at the various streaming services and I probably spend a bit too much time in these newsletters tracking how the various services are tweaking how their subscribers interact with their apps. I am especially obsessed with content discovery and how streaming services struggle to make discovery as seamless a process as possible.

Vulture's Joe Adalian has an absolutely fascinating piece on Netflix and their efforts to solve the "decision fatigue" problem:

It’s a week before Thanksgiving, and Cameron Johnson, the Netflix exec who oversees product innovation for the platform’s TV interface, is on Zoom giving me a look at the company’s next big product innovation. A final name for the feature hasn’t been determined. Inside Netflix, the company simply refers to the project as Instant Joy.

About a minute into Johnson’s demonstration, I tell him it reminds me of channel surfing on a regular TV. He tells me that’s exactly what Netflix’s designers were going for. “It’s trying to take what is one of the best things about linear TV, which is immediate entertainment, but make it even better, because it’s personalized,” Johnson says. So unlike old-school TV, Netflix’s version of changing channels makes sure you start at the beginning of a title and not somewhere in the middle. It knows if you’re halfway through a binge, serving up the next episode in your queue rather than one from two seasons ago. And of course, the programs you’re shown are determined by the algorithm, rather than some anonymous network executive. “It uses [member] taste, but it takes away a lot of that decision-making angst,” Yellin explains. In other words, Play Something is meant to evolve the Netflix recommendation engine, not replace it.

At one point, Netflix engineers considered a design that completely blows up the current UX and would make interacting with Netflix feel much more like a traditional television experience:

Having drawn inspiration from its linear predecessors, Netflix designers started sketching out their first rough visual representations of how Instant Joy might work. An early thought among the team was to consider what it would look like if they blew up the established browse-centric Netflix home page and just started from scratch. “Today, you select your profile, you go into the grid of titles … and then from the grid of titles you can get the playback. It’s a very understood paradigm,” Davis tells me one afternoon over Zoom. He then shows me a slide of a very different-looking Netflix home screen, one with the streamer’s kids’ show Carmen Sandiego front and center. It’s a static image, but Davis tells me to “imagine the video is actually playing” as soon as I select my user profile, Zenith-style.

In this vision of a Netflix home page, the now-familiar rows of categories would be invisible at first. Instead, you’d click in, and a title would just start playing, with the show’s title and the words “now playing” appearing in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen. You’d still be able to browse the full content catalogue if you wanted, of course: Icons such as a magnifying glass and a row of boxes would also appear onscreen, reminding users they had other options. But the default would be a personalized Netflix “channel” playing something the algorithm thought you might enjoy. “If we actually built this and shipped it to members today, it would probably be far too jarring,” Davis says, “because it disrupts the expectations of what Netflix is too much.”

You really need to read the entire piece, which is jammed with great behind-the-scenes details about Netflix's efforts to improve content discovery.

And it's a reminder of why this newsletter is called "Too Much TV." There is a tidal wave of new content coming every day and the aim of this newsletter and the web site AllYourScreens.com is to help you cut through the clutter a bit and hopefully highlight some less-publicized programs that are worth your attention. The world has plenty of reviews of The Handmaid's Tale. My goal is to help remind you about some of the other great new stuff.

SPEAKING OF CONTENT DISCOVERY ISSUES
I am a big fan of Discovery+ for both personal and business reasons. The Discovery/Scripps content is the one category of programming that my wife and I can both agree on in a pinch. And the ad-free option is a life changer if you're used to watching the regular cable networks. Discovery reported yesterday that Discovery+ already has more than 15 million subscribers, which puts is ahead of most analyst estimates for growth. 

One of the upsides of Discovery+ is that is rolling out a large number of originals each month, ranging from brand extensions of established titles to new specials and documentaries. But it almost impossible to keep up with the new content, for a couple of unrelated reasons. 

For whatever reason, the Discovery+ app tends to favor popular titles over new ones in the highlight areas. Which I suppose makes sense if the goal is to highlight the titles the most people are wanting to see at that moment. But I can't count how many times I've opened Discovery+ and looked for a new title without finding it highlighted or even visible in the correct genre tab. I can always find the title by searching for it, but the percentage of subscribers willing to do that is extremely small. To be charitable, the Discovery UX is a work in progress and hopefully this an issue they figure out in the near future.

The second content discovery issue is a more inside-baseball thing and I'll preface this by saying that I don't have behind-the-scenes knowledge of how the publicity assignments for Discovery+ are organized. But from dealings with publicists there, the PR responsibilities for Discovery+ seem to mostly be shared by existing publicists for the various cable networks. An arrangement that almost guarantees a lot of smaller new titles will be given less attention internally, which leads to less promotional attention. My sense is that this is an issue that everyone there is aware of, given that in recent weeks I have been begun to be contacted more by outside publicists working for individual Discovery+ programs and specials.

ODDS AND SODS
* Longtime Sony Pictures Entertainment executive Keith Le Goy has been named the studio’s chairman of worldwide distribution and networks.

* Niecy Nash will be hosting a new version of Don't Forget The Lyrics, which will during the 2021-2022 season on Fox.

* Starz will premiere the six-part limited series Little Birds on Sunday, June 6th. The series is described as "a modern tale of a woman losing and then finding herself down a mesmerizing rabbit hole, which is set in 1955 Tangiers."

* Ad Week has a good interview with Ken Gibbs, who is the Head of Series, Social at Prime Video.

* Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show is set to premiere a six-episode series about working during the pandemic.

Image

TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Headspace Guide To Sleep Series Premiere (Netflix)
Learn all about sleep, your relationship with it, and how to build healthy habits for a more restful night in Headspace Guide to Sleep. Over the course of seven animated episodes, Headspace Director of Meditation and Mindfulness teacher, Eve Lewis Prieto, reveals the science behind a healthy night’s sleep and provides tips on how to get the best sleep you’ve ever had. Each fifteen minute episode explores a different aspect of our relationship with sleep—such as insomnia, stress, our phones, and even sleeping pills—followed by a guided wind down designed to help you on your journey to a better sleep.

2) Life Under Renovation (Discovery+)
The series follows five families from across the country as they take on the ambitious task of capturing the ups and downs of the biggest renovation of their lives. Inspired by a major life event, from accommodating a newly blended family or unexpected twins, the self-shot series tracks the progress of the families’ home renovation realities from beginning to end.

3) Sexify (Netflix)
While working to create a sex app, a young woman and her friends set out to explore the world of intimacy and learn about themselves in the process.

4)
The Handmaid's Tale Season Four Premiere (Hulu)
On the run, June and the fugitive Handmaids seek refuge. In Gilead, Aunt Lydia reels from the loss of 86 children on Angel's Flight. The combative Waterfords, in custody in Toronto, learn of June's feat.


If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

27 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, April 27th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Diet Rite and jalapeno cheese ravioli.

NHL, TURNER SPORTS REACH DEAL FOR GAMES ON TNT, TBS
The NHL and Turner Sports announced a seven-year media rights agreement Tuesday that will have regular-season, Stanley Cup Playoff and Stanley Cup Final games televised on TNT and TBS starting next season and running through 2027-28:

Turner Sports joins the Walt Disney Co. and ESPN as the NHL's national media rights partners in the United States for the next seven seasons. The NHL, the Walt Disney Co. and ESPN announced a multiplatform media rights deal March 10.

As part of the agreement, Turner Sports' networks will televise the NHL Winter Classic, the League's annual New Year's Day outdoor game, in all seven seasons of the deal. They will show all games in the Stanley Cup Final in 2023, 2025 and 2027, one conference final series each season and half of the first two rounds of the playoffs along with 72 regular-season games per season.

Bleacher Report, which is owned by Turner, will have rights to use NHL highlights on its digital platform.

I'll leave the sports analysis to people wiser than myself. But there are a couple of TV-related takeaways. One is that despite the assurances from TNT/TBS execs that this doesn't mean the networks are stepping back from original scripted programming, the two networks were already in that direction before this deal was finalized. 

When deals like this are made, there are a lot of discussions about the increasing costs of live sports and whether it's possible to still make money in an era when viewership in general is flat or declining. But in the case of TBS/TNT, the pivot to more live sports is as much a reflection of its increasingly limited options as it is a ringing endorsement of the power of live sports programming. Both networks have long carried some sports programming and in recent years TNT's primetime programming has been a hybrid of live sports, off-network syndicated programming, theatrical movies and a limited number of original productions. But that mix is becoming impossible to sustain. There are fewer big hit network TV shows in the pipeline to strip out in primetime and thanks to increased competition from streaming services, the costs of those programs is increasingly rapidly.

It's a similar story with theatrical movies. There are only a few major movie output deals becoming available in the next five years and those precious titles have been essentially priced out of the linear television market. And as for original programming, while TBS has had some success with original game shows & other unscripted series, both TBS and TNT have struggled to launch new scripted titles. Both because it's difficult to find traction in an increasingly crowded marketplace. And because the growth of streaming services has meant that both networks are facing increased competition to snag the projects as they are being developed.

While an NHL deal might not be the future the Turner Networks had planned on, it's likely a cornerstone of what will become the company's best-case programming scenario for the next five years.

SPEAKING OF SPORTS AND CABLE TV
The two "general interest" cable networks over the past 25 years have been TNT and NBCU's USA Network. With TNT adding more sports, it will be interesting to see where USA is headed in the next five years. With NBC's sports net disappearing, it's likely some sports might be headed to USA. Especially given that like TNT, USA has struggled in recent years to launch any new programming other than a handful of reality shows. NBCU doesn't currently have a lot of live sports rights to work with and it also has to figure out how USA fits into a universe in which NBCU's streaming service Peacock is being promoted as being a destination for Premier League soccer. 

I don't envy NBCU executives navigate the future of the USA Network. It currently gets a lot more in affiliate fees than its current lineup would support. And like TNT, it doesn't have a lot of good options when it comes to new off-network programming and/or movie packages.

ODDS AND SODS
* 'The Flintstones' sequel series Bedrock officially enters development at Fox. Elizabeth Banks will voice a 20-something Pebbles making her way in a new Bronze Age world.

* The Daily Beast is hiring an entertainment reporter. You can apply for job here.

* Amazon Prime Video unexpectedly dropped all ten episodes of season three of the series Loudermilk onto its service today. The first two seasons premiered on the now-shuttered Audience Network.

* Fox will be premiering its remake of Fantasy Island on August 10th. Beginning on May 1st, episodes of the original series as well as the 1998 UPN remake will stream on Tubi.

ICYMI
Here are links to some of the stories that were posted over the past few hours on AllYourScreeens.com

* Russian Man 'Trapped' On Chinese Reality TV Show Finally Voted Out After Three Months

* NENT Group Secures Bundesliga Rights Until 2029



TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Fatma (Netflix)
Fatma (35), an ordinary cleaning lady, commits an unexpected murder while searching for her missing husband, Zafer, who was just released from jail. Zafer’s dodgy underground associates soon find out what she did, and the only way for her to survive in this man’s world is to continue killing. She gets away with it too - since no one takes her to be more than an ordinary cleaner, she becomes an invisible killer. In the end, murder becomes a release for the years of struggle and grief that she had repressed, and a new part of her identity she must confront.

2) Go! Go! Cory Carson Season Four Premiere (Netflix)
Whether helping out his friends or making new ones with sister Chrissy, Cory is always on the move and ready for any adventure that comes his way!

3) Labyrinth Of Cinema (Mubi)
The only movie theater on the Onomichi seafront is about to close its doors. Its last night of screenings will be an all-night marathon of Japanese war films. When lightning strikes the theater, three young men in the audience find themselves thrown back in time into the world inside the screen.

4) Man In Room 301 (MHz Choice)
Dark Finnish thriller about a fractured family facing the consequences of their past actions.

5) Under Pressure (MHz Choice)
Justine (Olivia Ruiz pictured above) struggles to reconcile her family life and her job as a police officer when she faces an internal affairs investigation into stolen money.

6) When Phillip Met Missy (Discovery+)
Every resident in the small town of Hartville, Ohio knows that if you want the latest town gossip, you have to head over to the local fast-food joint. In a town of only 3,000 people, coffee shops are limited, and most folks meet to chat and enjoy their morning brew in the middle of a busy drive-through restaurant. One of those locals is Philip Snider. Philip and his wife, Roberta, were longtime Hartville residents, until his wife’s sudden disappearance. Rumors swell that Philip had something to do with it, but no one knows for sure. One day, a new resident of the town, Missy, walks into the restaurant, and things are never the same. She strikes up an unusual friendship with Philip, and the town holds its breath from afar. What starts out as a meet-cute then swirls into a cycle of surprising and sinister twists that viewers won’t see coming.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, April 26th, 2021

26 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, April 26th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Holiday Blend coffee and lots of grapes.

CAN LOCAL TV REMAIN RELEVANT AS VIEWERS SHIFT TO STREAMING?
CNBC's Alex Sherman has a look at how local TV stations are trying to remain relevant in a era where an increasing number of viewers are shifting their primary TV habits to streaming. There is a lot in the article and to be honest, it could have been broken up into several different pieces that are more focused on specific aspects of the story. But two things jump out at me. First, is the issue of retransmission fees. It's hard for me to see how these fees are sustainable in the long run. Which is a problem, given how much revenue they provide to the station groups:

For the past decade, broadcast station groups have collected fees from pay-TV operators -- Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Charter, etc. -- for the right to carry their stations. The trend began around 2006 when station groups realized consumers wanted access to their local TV channels just as much as -- if not more than -- they wanted the most popular cable networks (such as ESPN or CNN) which had long charged carriage fees.

So station groups began turning down so-called “must carry” provisions, which required pay-TV operators to carry local stations and share ad revenue with them, and instead began taking direct payments from the pay-TV operators -- with the risk that, someday, the pay-TV operators could change their minds and drop these channels.

That shift led to a booming industry. Total paid retransmission fees paid to station group owners grew from about $200 million in 2006 to more than $10 billion by 2018. They’re still rising. Research firm S&P Global expects fees to top $15 billion by 2023.

Nexstar, the largest U.S. owner of local TV stations, took in nearly $2 billion in retransmission fees last year -- about 44% of the company’s total annual revenue. Buoyed by soaring retransmission revenue, Nexstar’s total return between 2010 and 2020 was nearly 3,000 percent, making the company the fifth-best performing stock of the decade in the The Russell 1000 large-company index.

And while it's not mentioned in the article, some of the retransmission fees are clawed back from the stations by the broadcast networks. Which means that these retransmission fees are financial underpinning of the broadcast network TV ecosystem right now. And any slowing or decrease in those fees will have a profound impact on the industry.

The other interesting aspect of this story is the challenges of adding local TV station feeds to free, ad-supported streaming networks. These AVOD's can't afford to pay retransmission fees. So there are all sorts of clunky workarounds popping up in hopes of creating the Netflix of local TV:

There are also free advertising-supported national streaming services, such as Fox Corp.’s Tubi, which have begun to offer local news feeds. ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV has begun asking local stations for access to their news programming as well, according to people familiar with the matter, but the digital feed wouldn’t be live -- which would avoid retransmission payment.

Sinclair Broadcast executive Adam Ware said Pluto executives have asked for access to Sinclair’s 186 stations, but thus far, the company has turned them down. Instead, he’s using this moment in time to develop a streaming service for Sinclair Broadcast Group called Stirr.

Stirr is a free linear service that includes Sinclair station local news programs and other local content specifically made for streaming -- and it’s the company’s plan to go direct to consumers. Sinclair has also started making original local content for the service, such as Stirr City, a linear feed of news, sports, lifestyle and entertainment programming based on where a person lives.

One problem any service like Stirr faces is that this is the mid-1950s, when local TV stations were creating all sorts of original programming that could be shared with a wider national audiences. For the most part, local TV stations produce daily newscasts, a light lifestyle magazine or two and maybe some sort of local sports programming. And little of that is of interest to anyone outside the area. 

NEXSTAR TO LAUNCH NEW CLASSIC TV DIGINET
Nexstar Media Inc. is launching a new classic TV diginet on September 1st called Rewind TV. Here is the list of shows they expect to carry at launch and while there are a number of familiar titles, the big surprise for fans is the addition of The John Larroquette Show, which has never been available for streaming and hasn't been seen in syndication for close to 20 years. 

This move is actually an interesting play for Nexstar, which also owns the diginet Antenna TV. The company is apparently shifting a bunch of the 1980s & 1990s comedies from Antenna to Rewind and then it will refocus Antenna TV as the home for 1960s-1970s era comedies along with nightly reruns of The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.

ODDS AND SODS
* Sports Business Journal is reporting that NBC has officially pulled out of the bidding for the NHL’s second TV package, according to U.S. and Canadian sources. Next season will now mark the first time since the '05-06 campaign that the network will not carry any NHL games.

* Netflix has launched a companion interactive web site for its new YA drama Shadow & Bone, which premiered last Friday.

* Cinedigm is launching a new children’s animation streaming video channel called Fantawild, which is in partnership with Fantawild Animation, a Chinese producer of children’s animation.

ICYMI
Here are links to some of the stories that were posted over the weekend on AllYourScreeens.com

* Roku Warns Customers They May Lose Access To YouTube TV

* First Look: 'Devils' Series Two

* New On Amazon Prime Video: May 2021

* Fortnite Adds Vikings Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson Locker Bundle

First Look Video: 'The Mosquito Coast' - Episode One

New On IMDb TV: May 2021