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.
* With the launch of its namesake entertainment streaming service just over three months away, Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said Disney+ will be available in a bundle with Hulu LLC and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month. Marketing for Disney+ is set to begin soon. The bundle price is equal to the retail cost for standard service offered by streaming leader Netflix Inc. and represents about $5 monthly savings from the price of the three individual Disney services: $5.99 for Hulu's basic plan, $4.99 for ESPN+ and $6.99 per month for Disney+.
* CBS Corp. is continuing to bolster the content roster for its streaming business, with plans to enter the kids market, while gearing up for a significant expansion of its local news roster. The company is adding children's programming to CBS All Access subscription service, inking deals with DHX Media Ltd. and Boat Rocket Studios for new seasons of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" and "Danger Mouse," respectively.
* Comcast Corp.'s NBC Sports is teaming with sports and entertainment company Anschutz Entertainment Group to bundle streaming content from the Premier League, the U.K.'s top soccer circuit, as well as high-profile rugby and cycling fare, as a means for commercial venues to attract more patrons. NBC Sports Pub Pass is being sold to bars, clubs and other commercial venues nationwide as an exclusive subscription service, providing live and on-demand content from those properties within a single subscription.
* Facebook Inc. will start offering subscriptions from video providers to U.S. users as part of a limited test over the next few weeks, Variety reported Aug. 8, citing a company representative. The social networking giant is currently offering video subscriptions for BritBox, CollegeHumor's Dropout, MotorTrend App and Tastemade Plus, with plans to add more partners at a later stage.
In other platform news
* Leslie Jones from "Saturday Night Live" will be a part of a new stand-up show on Netflix, Variety reported Aug. 8. The one-hour special is scheduled for a global release in 2020.
* Netflix has struck an exclusive multiyear deal with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, creators of the hit HBO (US) series "Game of Thrones," Variety reported Aug. 7. Under the agreement, Benioff and Weiss will write, produce and direct new films and TV series for the streaming platform.
* In other Netflix news, the second season of crime series "Mindhunter" will premiere Aug. 16, according to a news release. The series, which is inspired by actual events, stars Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany and Anna Torv, among others.
* Netflix will debut new thriller series "Frontera Verde" Aug. 16. The first season, which will feature eight episodes, follows a young female detective and her partner as they investigate a series of bizarre deaths deep in the Amazon, on the border of Brazil and Colombia, the company said.
* Discovery Inc. is looking to further diversify its nascent streaming business, eyeing opportunities within the culinary category in particular. Speaking on the company's Aug. 6 earnings call, Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav said the programmer continues to "actively look at the food and cooking space," and the CEO plans to provide updates "about our plans in that category over the coming months."
* Cinedigm Corp. unveiled an updated, fully curated linear version of Comedy Dynamics, which is now available on its streaming television service XUMO. With the update, Comedy Dynamics will now present 24/7 stand-up comedy specials curated by its staff, the company said Aug. 6.
* Netflix has pulled the plug on mystery thriller "The OA" after two seasons, series star Brit Marling said Aug. 5.
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