☀️WBD delivers 2nd Major Cable Bundle blow this week
NETFLIX Films chart hits another 2023 views low / UK feeling strike effects / PAR+ sets JAPAN launch
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY Sept. 20, 2023.
Where ya gotta love the irony of TIKTOK employees getting agitated by their activity being tracked by an app 🤔. It seems employees’ in-office time is now being monitored by an app
unfortunately called MY RTO, which knows when you’re in the office… and yeah not so much.
But hey, at least I can’t imagine ya get knocked for being on TIKTOK all day at work? 🤷♂️
THEN: The Second City’s Brooklyn location will open on Nov.16 in Williamsburg.
AND: Remember META Verified? Yeah I don’t either - any chance a Wall Street analyst can ask META about the subscriber or revenue numbers here on the Q3 earnings call? Either way - it seems folks who are paying the $12 a month for META Verified say the INSTA customer service to resolve issues still sucks, according to The Information.
OH: The Fed has its monthly meeting today, seems like The Street’s money is on zero raise in interest rate this month.
PLUS: A GQ writer is rewatching Entourage, and pointed out that Vinny Chase’s career seems to have, uh “inspired” many projects that happened afterward - Aquaman of course, but also The Great Gatsby, Narcos (Medellin), and Ferrari. Oddly enough - never had a plotline about an industry strike 🤔. Johnny Drama on a strike line has so many possibilities.
AUSTERITY continues in podcasting, as SONY MUSIC is the latest to make some staff cuts in its Pod group according to Bloomberg, including axing Emily Ratajkowski’s High Low with EmRata pod… due to a high proportion of international listenership, which is less monetizable from an ad perspective for SONY.
IN TODAY’S EDITION
The NETFLIX Films chart maintained its 2023 top films viewership low point this week… while having a promising romcom debut. A look at the latest numbers.
Meet the B/R Sports Add-On! Yeah I’ve written that name like six times today and still can’t remember it. Anyway - first DISNEY and MNF, and now WBD and… all of its sports. FS1 you’re up next!
A look at just what is still actually left in the cable TV bundle at this point - and yeah, you could see why CHARTER was so steadfast in its position earlier this month.
PAR takes a familiar approach in its new expansion plans in JAPAN, and much more.
75% of UK film & TV production workers surveyed by their union (called BECTU) are reporting not working right now due to the SAG & WGA strikes, given the amount of big budget U.S. films that shoot in ENGLAND.
Also to note - their main actors EQUITY guild has a new deal negotiation next year.
ALSO: Meredith Stiehm and her running mates have been re-elected as Prez of the WGA West, with Meredith getting 3,354 votes to Rich Talarico’s 300. Voter turnout was about 34%.
Today is the restart of WGA and AMPTP talks.
📣 Wakeup Reader of the Week: A special shout out to the reader who emailed me yesterday in response to my overall query in Monday’s newsletter, to let me know there are indeed hardcore NFL fans and HBO The Gilded Age fans out there… and even created this gif just to prove the point.
My red flag is deserved. All best to you and your cohort on Sunday nights starting Oct 29.
You know the thing where people say change is really only evident in hindsight? Yeah not this week.
First, a reminder - CNN MAX launches a week from today.
Then, WBD made its MAX Bleacher Report Sports tier official, pricing it at $10 a month on top of any MAX subscription ($10 ad-supported, $16 ad-free or $20 bougie tier).
MAX Bleacher Report (aka the “B/R Sports Add-On” #catchy) will launch on Thu Oct 5, and it’s free to MAX subs for essentially 5 months 🤯… with the paywall going up March 1 - quite a taste.
Oct 7 is when the MLB Playoffs begin.
Followed by the NHL on Oct 10.
And NBA on Oct 24 (shows like Inside the NBA are also included, plus other live B/R programming).
This free period will also include the NBA All-Star Game, the brand new NBA Cup games (split with ESPN), and the NHL Winter Classic.
Note: AEW Wrestling is not listed as being included in this B/R Add-On.
Mar 1 💰 is a couple of weeks before March Madness… with NBA & NHL playoffs looming in April (incl the NHL Stanley Cup). Also, MLB on TBS returns in April.
ERGO: If you have a digital antenna for CBS - You can now pay $10 and watch all of March Madness.
Note: The Final Four and Championship games are all on TBS this year btw 👀.
In just 2 days - the Cable TV bundle has lost exclusivity on:
Monday Night Football
A major weekly MLB games package, and half of the MLB Playoffs
The 3/4ths of NCAA March Madness it still had
Half of the NBA & NHL seasons, and many playoff games
I did a dive into what this all means here for paid Ankler subs, as it touches upon:
CHARTER’s recent 🖕to business as usual
The future for ESPN
What exclusive value is even left in the Cable Bundle at this point
Why “Cable” Companies are likely to be a big fan of tactics like this B/R streaming tier.
The big questions the industry has been asking for years… and is finally going to get an answer to… ready or not.
The link is here for subscribers:
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
NETFLIX Films Weekly Global Viewership Chart
Week of Sept 11 thru Sept 17:
usual caveats: back of the napkin math, assumes everyone finished the movie (including the credits), no one watched twice, or that a bunch of folks didn’t rewind certain parts, etc. so consider these minimum numbers. and it’s based on NETFLIX’s self-reported numbers.