AT&T's DIRECTV Now streaming service has gained live access to local CBS and CW stations in more than 20 top markets, as well as cable services Showtime, Pop and CBS Sports Network. The company will offer the broadcast stations on its universal tier, while Showtime will cost $8 a month.
Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch says new revenue from dynamic ad insertion could help boost the over-the-top service's bottom line. "I think it's fair to say that advertising will be a bigger portion of revenue and margin for OTT than it is in linear TV," added DISH Network Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen.
AT&T is starting its trial of DIRECTV Now's cloud DVR service, according to reports that say the over-the-top provider has emailed invitations for a beta trial. The company has offered few details about the service but has said all of AT&T's devices will share the DVR's features and interface.
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comment on a public notice to hold a reverse auction for the distribution of Connect America Fund money. The auction, which would be held in 2018, would provide up to $1.98 billion to service providers for bringing broadband and voice services to rural areas.
The number of people watching YouTube on TV rose 90% from 2015 to 2016 and is expected to increase another 90% this year, opening up new opportunities for advertisers. NBCUniversal is already seeing interest, with YouTube's upfront expected to attract 50% more advertisers than it did last year, NBCU executive Mark Marshall said.
Over-the-top viewers complete 98% of video ads, outpacing desktop, smartphone and tablet users, per a study from Comcast's Freewheel. The study also found that OTT viewers -- who are younger and more affluent than traditional TV viewers on average -- have higher brand awareness than users of desktop or mobile, as well as that 36% of their viewing sessions clock in at one hour or longer.
Vizio has announced that it will feature Amazon Video in its SmartCast Platform for its P and M series Ultra HD television sets, with additional updates expected this year for its E series. This update comes shortly after Vizio announced that it would add Smart TV apps to its displays.
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