Weekend Wrap Up: Top Cord Cutting Stories from This Week

This week, we highlighted Pluto TV’s revamped lineup, our own Roku streaming device comparison, Netflix’s new shuffle button test, streaming service bundle deals, and more!

Pluto TV Adds a Dozen New Channels and CBS Content & Reorganizes Channel Lineup

Note: This is a sponsored post.

Pluto TV, ViacomCBS’ free streaming platform, announced a significant update this week. The change includes a reorganization of the service’s hundreds of channels, plus the addition of several new options along with more CBS content. In all, Pluto TV now offers some 15 categories aimed at making it easier, hopefully, for you to find something to watch. Among the categories are options like Movies, News and Opinion, Classic TV, Sports, Gaming and Anime, and more.

The service also added a dozen channels this week, including a dedicated Three’s Company channel, one for Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show run, and Western TV shows, among others.

Read more about Pluto TV’s recent updates here.

Peacock Will Launch a New Free Sports Channel, First Original Sports Talk Show

New streaming service Peacock is adding a new free sports channel to its lineup along with a new original sports talk show. The new channel, which will go by the name NBC Sports on Peacock, launches on August 24th and will stream daytime live sports talk. So far, some pretty familiar shows have been announced for the channel, including PFT Live with Mike Florio, The Dan Patrick Show and The Rich Eisen Show.

In September, another show, called Brother From Another with Holley and Smith, will join the lineup, alongside PFT PM. Brother from Another will feature co-hosts Michael Holley and Michael Smith and they’ll cover sports, of course, as well as culture, entertainment and politics.

Read more about Peacock’s new free sports channel here.

The Roku Channel is Adding More Than a Dozen Kids & Family Programs

Roku has announced a slate of new kids and family programs for The Roku Channel to help celebrate the Kids and Family section’s first birthday. You’ll be able to check out new options like The Adventurers, Axel Show, The Sharksons, and Toddler Fun Learning, among several others.

Read more about The Roku Channel’s new kids and family content here.

Roku vs. Roku: Four Streaming Devices Compared Head to Head (to Head to Head)

We recently took a close look at four current Roku streaming devices to see how they stack up: the Express, Premiere, Streaming Stick+ and the Ultra. If you’ve ever been curious about how the company’s various streaming devices compare to each other, feel free to check out our findings.

Read more about our Roku streaming device shootout here.

TiVo and Channel Master Pair Up to Bring DVR to OTA Antenna Users

Channel Master and TiVo announced an agreement this week that will bring TiVo’s DVR tech to antenna users. The new deal starts with Channel Master’s launch of a 500GB TiVo Edge DVR. It’ll share the same features and capabilities as the 2TB version (minus the overall storage capacity, of course). The DVR itself costs $199, but you’ll need TiVo service to use it. There’s another option on their site that includes a lifetime TiVo subscription and that combo is currently on sale for $349.

Read more about Channel Master’s new partnership with TiVo here.

Netflix is Testing (Another) Shuffle Feature

It looks like Netflix is continuing to experiment with new features and test the waters to see how its users react. Case in point: a new shuffle feature that aims to serve up titles that users might enjoy. The new test feature shows up on the home screen under a user’s profile icon and it apparently pulls from shows or movies you’re currently watching, have added to your watch list, or that bear similarities to stuff you’ve watched in the past.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Netflix has experimented with some sort of shuffle feature on its service. Back in 2019, the company tried out a version of the feature that would serve up random episodes within a series. That option popped up again earlier this year in the form of a new “Play Something” feature. This latest version of the shuffle feature is reportedly being rolled out to a small number of subscribers as part of the test.

Read more about Netflix’s latest shuffle feature test here.

Verizon is Offering Free Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ & Apple Music with New Unlimited Plans

Verizon has updated its line of Unlimited plans and, depending on which specific tier you pick, you’ll get offers for services like Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and Apple Music. Some plans include 6 months of Disney+ and Apple Music, while other options add Hulu and ESPN+ or cloud storage options to the mix.

Read more about Verizon’s new streaming service offers here.

Apple TV+ First Bundle Deal Includes CBS All Access and Showtime

Last week also saw the launch of new partnerships that combine Apple TV+ with CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services.
In this new bundle, Apple is offering CBS All Access and Showtime for $9.99 per month if you have an active Apple TV+ subscription. It’s worth pointing out that CBS All Access on its own normally costs $9.99 per month. And Showtime comes in at $10.99 per month. So you can think of it sort of like getting Showtime for free when you order CBS All Access. Plus, if you happen to be on Apple TV+’s free year promo, then that might make for a pretty attractive bundle.

Read more about Apple’s new streaming service bundle here.

Comet is Airing a Supernatural Sci-Fi Marathon for Ray Bradbury’s Birthday This Weekend

Note: This is a sponsored post. All our opinions remain our own.

Sci-fi streaming channel Comet celebrated the birthday of acclaimed author Ray Bradbury with a marathon of episodes from Night Gallery and The Ray Bradbury Theater. Night Gallery is an anthology series that ran in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. You might recognize host Rod Serling from The Twilight Zone fame. Meanwhile, The Ray Bradbury Theater anthology series ran on HBO for two seasons in the mid-‘80s before getting picked up for a few more years on the USA network. The marathon kicked off at noon on Saturday, August 22nd and you can check out the full schedule in Jess’ post linked down in the video description.

Read more about Comet’s Ray Bradbury marathon here.

FCC Extends Comment Deadline on Spectrum Data Cap Petition

Lastly, we covered an update on Charter’s ongoing attempt to lift a ban on data caps and usage-based pricing. That ban was put into place as part of a 2016 merger with Time Warner Cable. And since Charter filed a petition to lift the ban earlier this year, consumer advocacy groups and industry heavyweights like Roku have chimed in to criticize the move. Meanwhile, Charter issued comments to the FCC claiming, among other things, that at least having the option for data caps and usage-based pricing opens them up to be more flexible and responsive to customer needs.
Recently, the FCC announced an extension to the public comment period. The initial due date was set for late July, but it was then extended into August, where we saw companies like Roku chime in against data caps. That deadline has been further pushed back to September 2nd, opening up the door for even more parties to weigh in on the petition and whether or not it’s a good idea.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on the petition to see who else voices an opinion on the matter between now and the new deadline of early September.

Read more about the FCC’s public comment extension here.