Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we've got all of the latest Android TV news coming out of Google I/O.
We're also talking about the inevitable cable TV price hikes on the way, why you can expect to see more sitcoms on TV this fall, this week's must-see OTA TV and more!
As always, if someone you know is interested in cutting the cord on cable or satellite, please forward our newsletter, or use the handy share buttons at the top of this email.
OK... now let's get to it!
NEWS: Android TV Updates Coming Out of Google I/O
Google held their big media and developer event earlier this week, so there are lots of Android TV-related updates.
Let's start with the bad news... The 'dongle' that 9to5Google spotted in FCC filings in early April is indeed real... But you won't be able to buy it. (Womp womp.) Google announced the device was created for, and will be distributed solely to, Android TV app developers. So unless you're planning to learn to code, you won't be able to get your hands on one. This leaves a distinct lack of Google-sanctioned options for lower-end, non-Amazon-powered Android TV streaming devices on the market. The NVIDIA SHIELD TV is an excellent, powerful, and flexible option but it's a high-end device with a matching price tag. Perhaps the team at NVIDIA should explore making a 'SHIELD Mini' which could deliver streaming TV (and maybe even stream games?) to secondary TVs in the house.
Now the better news... Later this year, the folks at JBL will be introducing a soundbar with built-in Google assistant AND an Android TV streaming box. If you're looking at picking up a soundbar anyway, having one that can let you load apps and stream TV could be neat.
And finally in good news, Google has also made tweaks to the operating system itself with Android P, to make it run faster especially on lower-end devices and has added some setup shortcuts to make the out-of-the box experience better.
Maybe these changes will be the kick that Android TV needs to make a comeback.
NEWS: To Literally Nobody's Surprise, Cable Prices Going Up
There are a few certainties in this life: death, taxes, and cable TV prices going up. This week the folks at Altice announced price hikes for cable packages, and for all the random associated fees for set-top-box rentals and 'broadcast TV'.
And once one provider braves the price hike waters, many more often follow suit...
Like Spectrum who've decided that customers who are on legacy plans from TWC will now have to pay $11.75/month to view content on secondary TVs if they aren't ALSO subscribers to Spectrum internet.
So, if you're still paying for cable take the summer to sort out your cord cutting strategy. It's not as scary as you think, and you don't have to go cold turkey.
Come fall, you'll still be able to watch all of your favorite shows live or later and for just a fraction of the price.
WHAT'S ON: Expect More Sitcoms on Network TV
As the TV season winds down, network execs are starting to look towards next year and beyond in terms of what existing shows get renewed or cancelled, as well as what new shows get greenlit. Industry watchers seem to agree those decisions will be heavily influenced by what's being called 'The Roseanne Effect'.
The show's success has renewed interest in multi-camera sitcoms. All four major networks have greenlit new comedies for this fall which are cheaper and quicker to produce for networks than other types of content. ABC in particular - which is the home of Roseanne - has ordered THREE new comedies to pilot for fall, whereas they only had one (Roseanne) this year. The success of those shows could be especially critical to the network as it shifts away from Shonda Rhimes-helmed dramas.
But skepticism remains that Roseanne can continue its ratings dominance next year, as the media hype and familiarity of the characters (and the sitcom format itself) can continue to appeal to increasingly discerning TV audiences.
Would you welcome the return of the sitcom like in the heyday of 'TGIF' or 'Must See TV'? Or are you still loving gritty dramas? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
Along with the NHL Playoffs, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna including:
Don't forget to set your Tablo to record all these great shows!
- Royal Wedding fever starts ramping up with the special Meghan Markle: An American Princess - May 11 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX/CityTV
- Undercover Boss: Celebrity Edition premieres - May 11 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS
- Amy Schumer hosts with Kacey Musgraves as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live - May 12 @ 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC/Global
- The new three-part miniseries adaptation of Little Women premieres - May 13 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS
- Special Inside the Royal Wedding: Harry & Meghan airs - May 16 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC
CANADIAN CORNER: Superbowl SimSub Fight Going to Supreme Court
This week Canada's Supreme Court agreed to hear the ongoing spat between Bell and the CRTC over the simultaneous substitution of Canadian ads during Superbowl broadcasts.
In a previous ruling, the courts sided with the CRTC who mandated an end to commercial swapping for the big event when broadcast on US-based channels. Bell, which lost a significant amount of ad revenue and viewers during last year's game, argues that the CRTC has no jurisdiction to make this change and is interfering with their contract with the NFL to air the game.
The good news for Canadians is that the Supreme Court will likely take its sweet time on this, so you'll be able to catch the 'fancy' American commercials during next January's game.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Cord Cutting This Week!
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