Are you slightly confused as to why Disney is spending to much money to launch a streaming service that will undercut its TV business model?
Cynthia Littleton’s Variety article examining the slow death of cable TV in the US is a must-read to understand how dire the future is for traditional distribution modes.
DirecTV and Dish lost a whopping 2.4 million subscribers, or 7.5% of total subscribers, in 2018, up from a loss of 1.6 million in 2017, according to Leichtman Research Group. The six largest cable operators shed a total of 910,000 subscribers last year, or 1.9% of total subs, up from a loss of 680,000 last year, per Leichtman.
The exodus from traditional MVPDs is a red flag for Hollywood, because cable and satellite providers shelled out some $41 billion plus in carriage and retransmission consent fees for programming in 2018. Those affiliate fees have been the single biggest drivers of corporate earnings for the major media conglomerates for two decades.
If you’re looking to unlock what Game of Thrones is about as we’re heading into the final season, Zach Kram at The Ringer has you covered. The show is all about consequence.
Game of Thrones succeeds in large part because of its ever-present consequences, which allow its vast and meticulous plot to follow a cause-and-effect structure that feels seamless rather than forced. The Lannisters try to kill Bran, so Catelyn arrests Tyrion, so Jaime attacks Ned and his men, so Robb calls Northern arms for battle, and so on. Part of the fun of the tale is examining how each action and reaction will in turn produce more actions and reactions, which helps the story flow as smoothly as the Rhoyne in summer.
As Kram notes, recent seasons have moved away from consequence, but I ask: Could it just be that it was setting all the pieces in place for the final run of episodes to offer a whole lot of comeuppance?
New streaming service The Criterion Channel has launched in the US. Keith Phipps has taken a look at it and asks whether it is a solid replacement for Warners recently shuttered streaming service Filmstruck:
An obvious love for movies, and an encouragement of cinephilia, pervades the Criterion Channel, from the care put into the programming to series like Adventures in Moviegoing (continued from the FilmStruck era), in which guests like Bill Hader and Julie Taymor discuss their evolving relationships with film. It’s easy to watch these short features one after the other while taking notes for suggested future viewings. Despite its sometimes less-than-intuitive interface, the service has clearly been designed to encourage those who love movies to watch more, and to expand their horizons.
Jeopardy has a new champion. James Holzhauer, a 34-year-old professional sports gambler, won $110,914 in a single episode. It was Holzhauer's fourth win in a row - in total, he's collected $244,365 so far.
The previous record holder was Roger Craig with $77,000 in 2010.