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Number 207
Broadcast Date February 12, 2018
Episode Length 58:40
Hosts Brian Brushwood, Tom Merritt
Guests Andrew Zarian

Viacom's big buy, ESPN's big play, and Extinction saved from the brink. With special guest Andrew Zarian.


Intro Video

Primary Target

Viacom is acquiring web video conference VidCon. In 2017 Vidcon draw more than 30,000 attendees, many of them online video personalities. Last month Viacom acquired WhoSay, a marketing firm that targets a younger demographic online with branded content.
AND Viacom plans to launch its own streaming service in the US by September with content from across the Viacom library.
Viacom CFO Wade Davis said this is why Viacom has been pulling content from 3rd party services (though not all) and understands they've missed out on some revenue because of the strategy.
“You should assume that we are really putting all of Viacom’s assets against this,” Davis added.
Viacom says it sees it as an “MVPD [multichannel video programming distributor, like a cable TV provider] complement product.”

How to Watch

ESPN Plus will launch next month for $5 a month. Disney CEO Bob Iger said the Internet service will have thousands of hours of live programming. However it will not draw programming from any of the existing ESPN cable channels. ESPN Plus will be available as an add-on to the existing ESPN app.

What to Watch

Disney announced on Tuesday that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are going to write and produce a new series of “Star Wars” films, separate from the Skywalker saga AND separate from Rian Johnson's trilogy.
Deadline sources say Disney's streaming service will focus on content consistent with the Disney brand.
Expect 4 movies and 5 TV series in the first year
Original content will include 3 Men and a Baby, Sword in the Stone, Don Quixote and Lady and the Tramp, two films in post include Magic Camp and Noelle starring Anna Kendrick.
Also Star Wars, High School Musical, Monsters Inc. and Marvel.
Netflix has purchased Extinction, a Michal Peña and Lizzy Caplan-led sci-fi thriller that was dumped by Universal. Extinction stars Peña and Caplan as a married couple who have to protect their family during an alien invasion.
Hulu's Hard Sun begins streaming March 7. The world is ending in 5 years but not everybody knows it. The show is a detective show despite all that.
Netflix will make HBO's documentary miniseries The Defiant Ones available outside the US and Canada on March 23. The series premiered on HBO last July and follows the careers of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. (also doing international distribution of Annihilation)
Aggretsuko, a beer-drinking, heavy metal-loving red panda from Sanrio who hates her office job is getting her own show on Netflix starting April 20.

What We're Watching

Front Lines

MoviePass lowered its rate again if you buy a year of service in advance to a price that works out to be $9.61 a month.l It also will bundle in the Fandor streaming movie service which has indie and art films. MoviePass added 500,000 subscriber in the past month for a total of 2 million.
Amazon has hired away NBC's head of entertainment, Jennifer Salke, to run Amazon Studios. Roy Price resigned in October due to allegations of sexual harassment. Salke spent nine years in development at Fox where she oversaw the launch of “Modern Family,” “Glee,” “Prison Break,” and “Bones.” She then moved to NBC for six years where she has overseen the launch of “This Is Us” and Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” series of procedural dramas.
Apple added news to the TV app though unlike sports or shows, it just adds news sources to a strip in the app that you can click on to watch live news. Sources include the usual plus Bloomberg and Cheddar in the US.
Hulu added 60 frames per second support for its live TV service which is good news for sports fans. Hulu also added more options for its DVR service so you can choose to record reruns, not just new episodes, bookmark a show without recording episodes.

Dispatches From The Front

Hi Tom, Brian, and guests,

Is there anything you can't, won't, or refuse to watch based on content? For some it might be language or sexual content, for others it may just be certain genres. But is there anything that will make you stop watching a movie or series immediately and never go back?
This question came to mind after watching Arkangel and Crocodile from Black Mirror. In Arkangel, the suspenseful opening SPOILER SPOILER had me thinking "what terrible thing is Black Mirror going to do to her?" Then SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER. I expect Black Mirror to be dark, but that one-two punch was just too much. Do any of you have similar experiences?

Your boss from Kansas,
- Tom

Hi, guys,

In Episode 206, Tom said that he thought TiVo could make a comeback if they market themselves as "the box." As a TiVo user, I have to say that that strategy will only work if they can convince their partners to code better apps: the Hulu app is especially prone to crashing and hanging up the whole box, forcing a reboot to clear; and the Amazon video app has no preview in fast-forward and rewind, making you guess where to resume play. In addition, some services, like CBS All Access, don't even *have* apps. TiVo will never become "the box" if they don't have rock-solid apps for all the services.

Oh, and flipping Commercial Skip into Content Skip for the Super Bowl? ReplayTV did that over 15 years ago!

Keep up the good work!

Your boss,

- Mike


I'm using the following:
Netflix 12$
Amazon at 90$ a year or (8$ a month)
Patreon at 3$ a month(for 1$ per channel).
I used to pay 60$ roughly for TV and when it was going to over 100$, I canceled.

So a total of 23$ a month. We don't have a simple playstationVue or other option in Canada so I'm sticking to these for now.


Hey killers,

My video services are Amazon Prime, Netflix, GiantBomb and MoviePass. They total about $35 a month.

I also set aside about $25 a month for current shows as they appear on Amazon, HBO Now, or Starz. I put whatever's left toward merch from my favorite podcast creators.

That comes out to about $60 a month, which is my upper limit for video a month.

Just another data point from your friendly neighborhood

- Bill



Preceded by:
"Highly Competitive Misanthropes"
Followed by:
"Red is the New YouTube"