Paramount Global's strategy for FAST channels in Australia seems to be thoroughly underwhelming. A few months ago at the upfronts for Aussie TV network 10 (owned by Paramount), they talked about rolling out its FAST service within app 10 Play rather than via Pluto TV.

Yesterday they rolled out its first set of FAST channels to 10 Play. And gosh was it just an embarrassment.

As a reminder, FAST channels are 24/7 linear streaming channels delivered digitally via apps. Think of it like a standard pay TV service, but completely free. They generally offer general entertainment channels, news, music videos, movies, and more. A lot of the channels are cheap junk, but there will always be something that catches your interest - even if it is a 1983 episode of The Love Boat. You can read my extensive explainer HERE.

The channels available at launch:

  • Broadcast channels 10, 10Bold, 10Peach, 10Shake
  • Survivor
  • Masterchef
  • Little Kids
  • Retro Cartoons
  • Christmas Movies
  • Wipeout
  • Aussie Drama
  • Prisoner
  • Baywatch
  • Action & Adventure
  • The Wicked Tuna Channel
  • True Stories
  • Movie Sphere

I guess the channel playing nothing but episodes of early 1980s Australian soap Prisoner (Cell Block H) is kind-of interesting.

Now, some people will defend the lackluster launch as just being indicative of a phase one launch. But...

Today Paramount Global also announced the launch of Pluto TV in Canada:

Pluto TV offers more than 20,000 hours of movies and TV shows, and will make over 100 channels available for its Canadian rollout. The offerings will include the likes of Pluto TV Comedy, Pluto TV Drama, Pluto TV Action, and Christmas 365, along with show-dedicated channels for “NCIS,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “The Love Boat,” and “Judge Judy.”

I'm still holding out hope for a proper Pluto TV launch down under, because what has been offered so far is pretty f**king weak.

Pluto TV Rolls Out Free Streaming Service in Canada with Over 20,000 Hours of Content
Canadian cord-cutters are getting a big boost to their free TV offerings today. The free TV streaming service Pluto TV is launching for all Canadian customers on Thursday, Dec. 1, and is partnering with Canadian media …

A lot of minutes

As per a study done by Nielsen, for the first 9 weeks of the US TV season, Netflix amassed 221.47 billion minutes of viewing time. Why study the first 9 weeks of the US TV season? That's an odd time period to measure the success of a streamer, right?

Well, it seems the study was paid for by CBS which was keen to tout the fact they're sitting right behind Netflix in terms of minutes viewed - 215.64 billion minutes. A great news story to tell advertisers.

CBS Challenges Netflix for Viewing Time Supremacy
The two outlets stand well ahead of their competitors in terms of time spent with original programming.
  • Good Morning America co-hosts Amy Robach and TJ Holmes have recently shut down their Instagram accounts after photos of the married on-air team were published by the Daily Mail showing them highly affectionate in a bar. The problem: They're not married to each other. Read: People
  • Jane Curtin is set to appear on The Conners playing the mother of Katey Segal's character. Read: TV Line
  • US comic The Normals is in development as a series at Australian pubcaster SBS. Read: C21
  • Robert DeNiro will play the US President in his first TV series, a Netflix thrilled titled Zero Day. Read: Variety
  • Amazon series Fallout, based on the video game franchise, will not re-tell a story from the games - instead it is a whole new story in the established world of the games. Read: Polygon

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan returns for season 3 on Amazon Prime Video Dec 21.

Doco Harry & Meghan is coming soon to Netflix.

The Glory debuts on Netflix Dec 30.

Transformers: Rise of The Beasts debuts June 24 in cinemas. It brings the Beast Wars cartoon characters onto the big screen.

That's the newsletter done for another week. It has been a bit of a quiet one post-US Thanksgiving, but hay was made. Onto next week!