STREAMING SATURDAY: Improvements Across the Board

This week’s Streaming Saturday looks a lot like last week’s column. While this might seem repetitive, it’s actually very good news for streamers.

We have good news for streamers this week. In a nutshell, it has to deal with recent developments at Netflix and DIRECTV NOW. These two streaming services are aggressively pursuing market share, each in its own way. Netflix is dedicated to creating new original programming while DIRECTV NOW continues to acquire local TV affiliates. Either way, this means more options and variety for fans of either or both of these streaming services. This era of constant improvements makes streaming the best way to view your favorite programming… at least in my humble opinion.

Netflix Buys Comic Book Company
Yes, you read that correctly. Netflix recently purchased a comic book company. The streaming giant bought Millarworld, originally founded by comic book creator Mark Millar. The purchase gives Netflix control of several comic book titles that includes Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Old Man Logan, among others. This should be good news for streamers who enjoy watching movies and series based off popular comics.

The decision to acquire Millarworld should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this column. This is yet another move by Netflix to cement its position as king of original streaming content. The company’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos confirmed this when he said that Netflix plans to create more comic book-related shows. These continue to be a big hit for Netflix and its users.

There might be another reason why Netflix purchased Millarworld. The comic book company’s content might be need to replace Marvel titles. I know it sounds strange, given that Marvel shows have been a big hit for Netflix, but it could be true. Stuart Sweet dissects the issue in his recent piece about Disney’s new streaming service. (Marvel is now a subsidiary of Disney.) As is usually the case, only time will tell.

Netflix Teams with David Letterman
Netflix plans to work with TV icon David Letterman. The streaming service recently announced its deal to create six episodes starring the former late-night host. Although the show does not have a name, Netflix has announced the series’ focus – conversations with extraordinary people and in-the-field segments that reflect Letterman’s unique humor. The episodes, which last one hour, will premiere sometime in 2018.

Letterman isn’t the first iconic star to team up with Netflix. Last week, we reported on Carol Burnett’s upcoming Netflix series, “A Little Help with Carol Burnett.”

Speaking of Original Content…
The second week of August features five new Netflix Originals, which all premiered on the eleventh. Season one of Atypical launched, as did the first season of True and the Rainbow Kingdom. August 11 marks the release of the third season of Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh. Two Netflix Original films also debut on this day – Naked and White Gold. As we wait for Netflix’s biggest hits such as Stranger Things to return, it’s good to see the network has a regular output of original films and series.

Big Things from AT&T/DIRECTV NOW
Sometime during the evening of August 8, 2017, some DIRECTV NOW subscribers were selected for the DVR beta. If you’re wondering if you were chosen, check your myAT&T app. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll find a new section in your app called “AT&T DVR beta.” Apparently, the beta is full now and it’s likely that AT&T will not be adding any new subscribers. We’re likely not going to hear much about this new beta since it’s believed that participants were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

DIRECTV NOW is keeping busy adding a variety of TV affiliates. It biggest acquisition was a recent deal to bring 25 CBS affiliates to subscribing streamers. DIRECTV NOW added several ABC, Fox, and NBC stations as well. If you’ve been following this column for a while, you’ll know that these recent acquisitions are just a start. AT&T plans to snag many more local affiliates for its DIRECTV NOW streaming service. This should be good news for DIRECTV NOW users living in TV markets where these stations originate.

Hulu Adds More Fox Affiliates
Just like last week, Hulu recently announced its addition of four near Fox affiliates to its life TV streaming service. The added stations are in the Jonesboro, AR, Winston-Salem-Greensboro-High Point, St. Joseph (MO), and Hattiesburg-Laurel-Mississippi TV markets. Hulu also added the following CBS station affiliates last week:

  • WEVV – Evansville, IN
  • WBNS – Columbus, OH
  • KVLY – Fargo-Valley City
  • KALB – Alexandria, LA
  • KOTV – Tulsa, OK
  • KWTV – Oklahoma City
  • KHSL – Chico-Redding
  • KVIQ – Eureka, CA
  • KBNZ – Bend, OR

This Isn’t Everything!
I’d like to say that this week’s Streaming Saturday catches you up on everything in the world of streaming. I know that wouldn’t be true. The streaming services are working feverishly to outdo one another in the never-ending battle to be the No. 1 source of entertainment and more. There are rumblings about new original shows headed to PureFlix while PlayStation Vue is rumored to have added more CBS affiliates. I’ve even heard whisperings of new streaming players and streaming services on the way. More on those stories later, I’m sure. Until next week, stream on you crazy streamers!

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.