STREAMING SATURDAY: Streaming Giants Step Up Their Game

The war between the streaming services means more TV affiliates, movie titles and more for streamers!

When business compete against each other, it’s viewers like you and me who are the winners. It’s the same with streaming services. DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, Netflix, and more are all scrambling to provide the best streaming service to viewers. With each new update, feature, and release, these streaming giants hope to better position themselves in the market by better serving their viewers. These streaming giants continue to make a variety of improvements to their services and catalogs.

DIRECTV NOW Adds Affiliates, Content
AT&T recently announced it’s adding 35 more local ABC, NBC, and Fox affiliates to DIRECTV NOW. Some of these markets include Kansas City, MO, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee, and West Palm Beach, FL. By the end of August, AT&T plans to have agreements in place with even more local affiliates. This is big news for streamers who’ve been wanting their local TV stations to be available for streaming. AT&T also recently added new content to DIRECTV NOW’s on-demand service. This puts more than 20,000 episodes available for its viewers.

Hulu Adds Affiliates, Updates Live TV App
Hulu recently added more than 40 CBS stations to its live TV beta service. These local affiliates were added behind a combination of CBS affiliates and My Network TV Network (aka MyTV) stations were added over the past three weeks or so. This brings Hulu’s total of CBS affiliates to more than 60 stations. will be slowly rolled out in a variety of areas. Keep your eyes open for these local stations.

Hulu’s live TV app for iOS has recently been updated with new features. Hulu started by fixing a bug that allows full-screen thumbnail scrubbing. It also added metadata for sports that shows the team name and sport to help distinguish between multiple college team sports. Hulu made a total of eight improvements to its iOS app in all. These changes are expected to come to Android, Xbox One, and Apple TV.

What’s New at Netflix…
It looks like Netflix has sped up its auto play feature for some titles. Its auto play feature now begins about five seconds after you click a title to read the description. This new, sped-up feature is only available on some titles while other shows and movies will start after 20 seconds from when viewers open the show for more details. Best guess is that Netflix added this feature in hopes of increasing its view count. After all, if the show starts, people might be more likely to watch it.

PlayStation Vue Gets More to View
PlayStation Vue recently added most Sinclair and Tribune-owned Fox stations. This will be big news for many streamers who want to stream their local Fox affiliates through this popular video game system.
Tubi TV’s streaming app is now available on PlayStation 4 consoles. The company, in its quest to gain new ways to grow its audience and brand, sees PlayStation as a platform to help toward that goal. This brings Tubi TV’s 50,000+ titles from Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount Pictures, and more to PlayStation Vue.

Sling TV Adds Cowboy Channel
On July 1, 2017, Sling TV added the re-branded Cowboy Channel. The Cowboy Channel, which airs programming of a Western and rural nature, is the former FamilyNet channel. Sling TV users can find the Cowboy Channel in the Heartland Extra add-on, along with the Outdoor Channel, RFD-TV, and other similar channels. Sling TV also recently added a host of updates to its user interface that include a grid guide and more.

The Streaming Services War Rages On…
All of these improvements to the various streaming services is just one battle in the ongoing “streaming wars.” These streaming services will continue to upgrade and improve the various aspects of their products. This means more movie titles, local TV affiliates, improved functions, and more. It will be exciting to see what the various streaming companies will come up with, and how soon these improvements will come to market. Until then, stream on!