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The Week in OTT: 'The Irishman' viewership numbers; AT&T TV launch date

The week in over-the-top provides a recap of recent news related to streaming initiatives in the U.S. from various networks and platforms.

Top News

* AT&T Inc. is set to launch its AT&T TV service nationwide in February 2020, Jeffery Scott McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications LLC, said while speaking at a conference on Dec. 12. "Our growth agenda is on fiber and our entertainment group and on AT&T TV and the AT&T TV product that will be offered nationwide," said McElfresh. "I'm excited about this product because I think of it as a CapEx-light product."

* Netflix Inc. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos projected that the streaming platform's crime film "The Irishman" will be viewed by about 40 million households during its first month of release. Speaking at the UBS Global TMT Conference, Sarandos said the 3.5-hour film, released Nov. 27 and starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, had been screened in 26.4 million Netflix homes worldwide during its first week, following a short theatrical run.

In other platform news

* Warner Media LLC's upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, ordered a TV series adaptation of Neal Stephenson's science fiction novel "Snow Crash," reported Dec. 14. The series will be written and co-run by Michael Bacall and will be directed by Joe Cornish.

* ViacomCBS Inc. units CBS Television Stations Inc. and CBS Interactive Inc. rolled out direct-to-consumer streaming news service CBSN Minnesota. The platform offers livestreams of newscasts and breaking news coverage from CBS (US) affiliate WCCO-TV, according to a Dec. 12 news release.

* Apple Inc. commissioned a second season of immigrant anthology series "Little America" even before the first season's debut, Variety reported Dec. 12. Universal Television is producing the series, whose first season premieres Jan. 17, 2020, on the Apple TV+ service.

* Inc. renewed the hit comedy-drama series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" for a fourth season, Variety reported Dec. 12. The renewal came less than a week after the third season was made available to Amazon Prime Video users.

* Mobile video service Quibi picked up gaming drama series "Curs_r" executive produced by Anton, Stigma Films and Ridley Scott, Variety reported Dec. 11. The series revolves around the pursuit of an unclaimed $100,000 prize.

* HBO Max will compete with The Walt Disney Co.'s Disney+ and other offerings by serving up something for everyone in a household, said COO John Stankey. Stankey, who is also CEO of the WarnerMedia entertainment business, told investors at a Dec. 10 industry conference that HBO Max represents a compelling value at $14.99 per month for both new customers and HBO's base of 33 million subscribers.

* Hulu LLC will exclusively premiere a four-part documentary series titled "Hillary" on March 6, 2020. The docuseries from Propagate explores the life and 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, according to a Dec. 10 news release.

* Comcast Corp. CFO Mike Cavanagh said the media conglomerate will invest $2 billion in aggregate to bolster the launch of its ad-supported video-on-demand service Peacock, aiming for the new service to break even within five years. That level of investment — about 1% of Comcast's total revenues — is similar to what Comcast put into the launch of Xfinity Mobile, Cavanagh told analysts and investors at an industry event Dec. 9.

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