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Motion picture entertainment is always shifting. It went from theaters to TV to cable and now to digital streaming.  Each change has given consumers’ new advantages. The latest, streaming services, offer users the ultimate flexibility to watch movies when and where they want. Major entertainment distributors are taking note and adjusting accordingly. HBO Now is a streaming service of the cable channel.  Disney Plus is a streaming service that allows an entertainment conglomerate to control content from all its subsidiaries and CBS All Access is a streaming service for a traditional TV network.

Monthly Plan Prices

  • HBO Now | $14.99
  • Netflix HD Quality Plan | $12.99
  • Disney Plus | $12.99
  • Hulu (without ads) | $11.99
  • Showtime | $10.99
  • Prime Video only | $8.99
  • Hulu (with ads) | $5.99
  • CBS All Access | $5.99

Movie Selection

  • Prime Video | 14,210
  • Netflix | 3,803
  • Hulu | 1,437
  • HBO | 926
  • Showtime | 489

TV Offerings

  • Prime Video | 2,317
  • Netflix | 1,966
  • Hulu | 1,931
  • HBO | 189
  • Showtime | 70
Quantity doesn’t always mean quality.  Just because Prime Video has the most movies and TV shows does not mean it has the best titles. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are nearly equal when it comes to the number of “high quality” movies offered as defined by Reelgood – a “high quality” movie as has an IMDB rating of 7.5 or higher.

High Quality Movies

  • Prime Video | 125
  • Netflix | 124
  • Hulu | 52
  • HBO | 32
  • Showtime | 32
With this information, you can make an informed decision about where to spend your entertainment dollars.
British actor Sacha Baron Cohen has been known throughout his career for playing silly, politically incorrect and at times extremely controversial characters. In his self-created films such as Borat and Bruno and in his role in Talladega Nights as well as in his TV work as Ali-G and on his recent show Who is America, his hilarious, yet slightly disturbing roles define Cohen. Resume aside, Sacha is returning in a new Netflix, 6-episode mini series, The Spy that is a very serious role. The series is based on true events.  Cohen plays the role of Eli Cohen (not related), an Israeli accountant who infiltrated Syria as a deep cover Mossad agent for six years in the 60’s. The older Cohen was behind enemy lines gathering information about Syria’s military plans while posing as Kamel Amin Thaabet, a patriotic Syrian shipping magnate. Like Sacha Baron Cohen’s movie characters, Eli Cohen got results by going deep into character, but for real.  Cohen playing the role of a undercover spy is rather poetic. The Spy is now available on Netflix.

In a significant increase, Netflix has announced that it will release ten films in theaters this fall with the intention of competing for the Oscars. The service has made movies for the Oscars before including well respected films Beasts of No Nation in 2015, then Roma, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mowgli in 2018.  The schedule for 2019 follows (First Date is Theatre Date, Second Date is Netflix Date):

  • The Launderette with Meryl Streep  – Sep 7  | Oct 18
  • Dolemite Is My Name with Eddie Murphy – Oct 4  | Oct 25
  • The King with Robert Pattinson – Oct 11 | Nov 1
  • Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman with Robert de Niro – Nov 1 | Nov 27
  • Earthquake Bird with Alicia Vikander –  Nov 1 | Nov 15
  • Marriage Story with Scarlett Johansson – Nov 6 | Dec 6
  • Klaus -animated – Nov 8 |Nov 15
  • I Lost My Body – French animated – Nov 15 | Nov 29
  • Atlantics – French drama – Nov 15 | Nov 29
  • The Two Popes with Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce – Nov 27 | Dec 20

 

When looking at the talent on TV across NFL coverage, many of the personalities are former players and or coaches. Excluding the broadcaster-hosts for each network; NFL Network has Michael Irvin, Kurt Warner, Deion Sanders, and LaDainian Tomlinson; FOX has Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long; ESPN has journalist, Steve Smith Sr, with Teddy Bruschi, and Randy Moss. TV having become a great option for a former player’s life after football, but only if he/she has the personality for it. So who are in the next wave of NFL talent that can crush it in the studio? Some of the current on air talent weigh in on their picks. Spoiler alert, Baker Mayfield is a top choice. “I want any piece of Baker,” said Kyle Brandt, co-host of Good Morning Football on the NFL Network. “I want Baker Mayfield because he just doesn’t follow the rules. He breaks all those sports media rules that have been around for 25-50 years on the ancient scrolls [like] don’t talk this way about a teammate or an opponent. He just doesn’t care and that would be great on the air.” Baker Mayfield is likely a long way away from retirement, but would be big ratings on TV.  Baker has already made many controversial comments, as Brandt alluded to, most recently regarding the Giants and the Daniel Jones draft selection. Other TV personalities, like LT and Steve Smith, have suggested the likes of Josh Norman, Jalen Ramsey, Greg Olsen, and Aqib Talib. For us, the most obvious choice right now is Rob Gronkowski.  Gronk, unlike the aforementioned players is actually retired, so the opportunity is more realistic. He is hilarious, he was one of the best to ever play his position and he is relatable to the full spectrum of viewers and listeners. The question is less about can Gronk do it, it’s more about does he wants to do it.

We have been learning more and more about Disney+ weekly as the company continues to release new information ahead of its November 12th release date. We reported a ton of announcements regarding content last week and now we have some information on their streaming limits.

One Disney+ account will be given permission to stream on up to 10 devices – sounds like a generous offer next to Netflix, which allows permission for only 1, 2, or 4 devices.  Example: If you have a Disney+ account on your TV, your iPhone, and iPad, you’re at three right off the bat. Let’s assume a family of four has Disney+ on each of their phones and on a TV in each of their bedrooms, that’s 7. Throw the family room into the mix and it’s up to 8.

Disney’s Special Labor Day Weekend Offer:

Disney Club members can sign up for a 3-year package of Disney+ over Labor Day Weekend for a cost of $141, a package that will cost regular folks $70 a year or $210 for 3-years.  

On its November 12th US launch, Disney + will offer 300 movie titles, a number that will grow to 500 in the first year, and 7,500 TV episodes.  The service will be the exclusive home for all Disney theatrical releases going forward.  At launch you’ll see Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World as well as Star Wars films The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens and Rogue One. Avengers: Endgame will come on December 11th. Also coming are several original series: a live-action Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, an Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor, three Marvel series called Ms Marvel, Moon Knight and She-Hulk.  Then there’s Muppets Now and a Lizzy McGuire revival. Other New Shows at Launch Forky Asks a Question SparkShorts Marvel’s Hero Project High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Encore! The Imagineering Story The World According to Jeff Goldblum Year One Movies From Marvel: Ant-man and the Wasp Avengers: Endgame Avengers: Infinity War Black Panther Captain America: The Winter Soldier Guardians of the Galaxy Iron Man 2 Thor: Ragnarok From Star Wars The Last Jedi, Solo and The Rise of Skywalker From Pixar Toy Story 4 Year One Original Shows The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Marvel’s 616 Lamp Life Monsters at Work Star Wars: The Clone Wars Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 Be Our Chef Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies (working title) Diary of a Female President Magic of Animal Kingdom (Re)Connect Rogue Trip Shop Class (working title) Year One Original Movies Noelle The Phineas and Ferb Movie (working title) Stargirl Timmy Failure Togo Day One Film Library 101 Dalmatians A Bug’s Life A Goofy Movie An Extremely Goofy Movie Bambi Bao Big Hero 6 Born in China Cars Fantasia Finding Dory Finding Nemo Free Solo Frozen Fun and Fancy Free Hercules High School Musical Honey I Shrunk the Kids Inside Out Iron Man Lady and the Tramp Lilo & Stitch Mary Poppins Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Moana Monsters University Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Pixar Short Films Collection Vol 1 Ratatouille Remember the Titans Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Sleeping Beauty Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens Steamboat Willie The Good Dinosaur The Incredibles The Little Mermaid The Parent Trap (1961) The Prince & The Pauper (1990) The Princess Diaries The Rocketeer The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (short) The Sword in the Stone The Three Caballeros Thor: The Dark World Toy Story Tron (1982) Up Wall-E Zootopia Day One TV Library Amazing Planet Andi Mack (seasons one-three) Boy Meets World Brain Games Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan Dr. K’s Exotic Animals Dr. Oakley Yukon Vet Drain the Ocean DuckTales (1987) DuckTales (2016, season one) Earth Live Goof Troop Great Migrations Howie Mandel’s Animals Doing Things Kim Possible Malcolm in the Middle Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (animated series) Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man (animated series) Mickey and the Roadster Racers (seasons one and two) Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Mickey Mouse Shorts One Strange Rock Raven’s Home Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue Star Wars Rebels Star Wars: The Clone Wars (series) That’s So Raven The Incredible Dr. Pol The Simpsons Unlikely Animal Friends Wicked Tuna

The Roku Channel is a two-year-old streaming service with 30.5 million users is offering a new Kids and Family portal, which is going live the week of August 19th.

Rob Holmes, VP of programming and engagement for Roku said, “We recognize that it can be a challenge to find quality kids and family entertainment across multiple streaming channels, particularly free, ad-supported options.”

With that in mind, Roku has bundled 7,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes and they promise the ad intrusions will be 60% less than on standard TV.  Participating programmers include: Hasbro Company, DHX Media, Happy Kids TV, Lionsgate, Mattel, Moonbug and pocket.watch, among others. Brands include: Care Bears, The Cat in the Hat, Leapfrog, Little Baby Bum, My Little Pony, Rev & Roll, Super Mario Brothers and Thomas and Friends.  Premium channel viewers will see even more options.

Roku’s new family friendly portal includes a PIN-based system for parents to monitor the content their children watch. The free-to-consumer, ad-supported content is the advantage Roku brings to the market against some fierce completion from the paid offerings of Netflix and Disney+.

Companies such as Comcast, Warner Media and Walt Disney are trying to compete with Netflix in their video streaming services. In order to do this, they are looking at the rights to use Seinfeld, a hugely famous retired comedy show which is has its streaming rights up for sale again. Seinfeld  has been available for streaming on Hulu since 2015. Retired shows with well-established fame are heavily competed over between streaming companies; these shows include not only Seinfeld, but also the Office and Friends. Netflix has given much trouble to the traditional TV industry by offering a streaming alternative to the traditional method of distribution. Hulu’s ownership of streaming rights to Seinfeld ends in 2021. Sony Pictures Television handles the distribution of streaming rights to Seinfeld. The company is already getting calls about these rights. The bidding process for the Seinfeld streaming rights is expected to begin in the next few weeks. Netflix has already been beat by competition for streaming rights for the Office and Friends. NBCUniversal bought streaming rights for the Office for the next five years for $500 million. Warner Media paid $425 million for five years of streaming rights over Friends. The future will show how much profit these streaming rights will generate for these massive companies.

Friends is looking to celebrate the big quarter century anniversary in a big way. The famous television series will release some never before seen footage and episodes in a select number of theaters across the globe. On the 23rd and 28th of September, and the 2nd of October the cinemas will air four episodes per night, each night.

Tickets and participating theaters lists are out, and ticket sales will begin on August 16th. For the Friends fan who has seen every episode time and time again, the time for new content has finally come!

Real Madrid is one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world, with a tremendous amount of pedigree, history, and money. They are known for purchasing the best players in the world, in their prime, for enormous fees, and it’s paid off with titles over the years, especially during the Christiano Ronaldo era. While this strategy has paid off with silverware, it hasn’t always left their financial situation in great standing, or their image for developing players. Like Real Madrid, Netflix is looking to buy up all the best players as well. It is just a different kind of player, the best titles and producers for streaming. In 2017 Netflix paid $100 million dollars for Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes who left ABC. They paid $300 million dollars for Ryan Murphy of American Horror Story and American Crime story, and now they have signed Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss for $200 million dollars. Their offseason signings over the last few years have commanded big money, and it is bad news for regular television. If Netflix continues to pry away the best talent from the TV world to the streaming world, the TV companies will struggle to fine adequate talent and while being able to compete with the deals Netflix is dishing out. We may be starting to see a shift away from the top shows airing on network television or subscription services such as HBO, and more of the big action taking place on streaming services such as Netflix.