Comcast replaces Cinemax with on-demand service after dropping Tivo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by johnsom, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Jun 24, 2019 #21 of 104
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Both HBO and Cinemax got out of the soft-core pornography business last year. There's plenty of that crap (and far worse) floating around on the internet for those who want it.

    HBO drops porn from all its channels - Metro Voice News

    I suspect that the risks that such content entailed -- casting HBO as an unflattering, non-mainstream consumer brand -- outweighed any continued commercial benefit of airing that material, which was probably drawing in fewer and fewer viewers since virtually everyone has internet access now.
     
  2. Jun 24, 2019 #22 of 104
    mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    That's funny, because Game of Thrones (which I've actually only seen a couple of episodes of.. I'll watch it some eon) has far more raunchy stuff that Skinemax did.
     
  3. Jun 24, 2019 #23 of 104
    zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    So how do they classify one as porn vs another? Does it mean shows like Masters of Sex would no longer be shown? Where is the line?
     
  4. Jun 24, 2019 #24 of 104
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    First off, Masters of Sex is on Showtime. Second, that's a show in which sex and the sexual revolution are completely integral to the narrative. Despite the fact that many episodes had zero sex and/or nude scenes, one could still make a case that the series is at times needlessly overly explicit in its depiction of sex. But the counterargument would be that those scenes don't serve merely or even primarily to titillate and appeal to prurient interests but rather to advance a story with actual artistic and historical merit. I don't think anyone could say the same thing about the stuff that aired late night on Cinemax, or HBO's reality series about a Nevada brothel.

    If you need another guidepost in terms of how content outlets such as HBO might approach the question, think about it this way: Is this sexually explicit show something you can imagine the television academy possibly nominating for an Emmy? If the answer is yes, it probably goes in their "not porn" category. If the answer is no, well...
     
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  5. Jun 25, 2019 #25 of 104
    zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    So your saying people did not jerk off to Lizzy Caplin in all her glory. So if it was Cinemax it’s different? I realize in the old days they had less talking but it’s not clear to me where the line is. How about Eyes wide shut with all the orgy scenes?

    I think the real bottom line is the old fashioned pseudo sex we used to see on cable is not helping subscriber growth anymore.
     
  6. Jun 25, 2019 #26 of 104
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    I hope this will be without commercials, or have a commercial-free option. I assume it will, if this is taking the place of HBO Go/Now. (?)
     
  7. Jun 25, 2019 #27 of 104
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    The rumors/leaks on that front haven't been very clear and consistent. The latest idea seems to be to roll this service out as totally commercial-free (like Netflix) but then later on (next year?) offer a cheaper plan that has targeted ads on at least some of the content (like Hulu).

    And while I have speculated that this new app will replace HBO Go/Now, it's not clear that that will happen either, at least initially. Well, I do still think it will immediately replace HBO Now, because who would sign up for that at $15 when they could pay another $1-2 and get so much more via HBO Max? It's possible that HBO could discount HBO Now by a few dollars but I don't see them doing that. Their strategy seems to be "the cable channel bundle is crumbling, so let's build a new direct-to-consumer service that contains all of our content (except live sports and live news, for now)."

    The initial plans for HBO Max, stated last fall, was to offer multiple content tiers at different prices but they've now abandoned that plan as too confusing. When it comes to their standalone streaming subscribers, I think they've decided it's going to be all-or-nothing: take HBO plus all our other stuff in this new app or nothing at all.

    Things get more complicated, though, when it comes to the bulk of HBO's subscribers, who come through traditional cable TV distributors. It isn't clear to me what their game plan is in terms of how to integrate HBO Max into that situation, which is why we may see the HBO Go app live on for awhile. In fact, one source I read indicated that they WILL keep HBO Go around, as well as the option for cable subscribers to stay on "just HBO".

    Perhaps what they'll do is let their cable partners distribute HBO Max at $17 but with the partners getting a smaller cut of that price (maybe 30%) than they've always gotten for regular HBO (about 40-50%). So then you'd have Comcast, for instance, selling HBO for $15 (their current standard price) and HBO Max for $17. If that happens, a lot of Comcast customers would be incentivized to "trade up" to HBO Max for just $2 more. (This will especially be the case if AT&T shuts down Cinemax as its own standalone service, making it exclusively available as a sub-brand within the new HBO Max.) But Comcast wouldn't like that development if they actually pocket LESS money on each HBO Max subscription at $17 (maybe $5.10) than they would on a regular HBO subscription at $15 (maybe $6.75). And keep in mind that HBO Max will get a lot of national advertising by AT&T, regardless of whether Comcast markets it internally to their own customer base. Comcast's customers will know about it and, moreover, they'll have the option to sign up for it directly (just like Netflix), completely cutting out the cable middleman and his share of the price. Maybe if they sign up directly online, the price for HBO Max will be only $16, a buck less than if they had it billed through Comcast. Sure, that would mean using the HBO Max app only on devices that they own (Roku, Apple TV, Android phone, etc.) rather than Comcast's own X1 cable boxes, but some folks would be fine with that.

    This scenario might put pressure on the cable companies to reduce their prices for regular HBO below the standard $15 price, with all of that price reduction coming out of their own margins. Maybe Comcast lowers the price of HBO by $3, down to $12 (same as the other premiums) but that means they'd only keep $3.75 out of that new price as opposed to the $6.75 that they get now. If cable distribution partners do something like that, you can see how regular HBO would live on and the existing HBO Go app would continue to be needed.

    OTOH, maybe Comcast and other cable distributors decide that it doesn't make sense to lower the pricing and their profit margins on regular HBO. Why even offer it any more? Why make $3.75 per HBO subscription when they could make $5.10 per HBO Max subscription?

    And remember too, that Comcast is developing their own home-grown alternatives to HBO and Cinemax. Next month, Comcast is replacing Cinemax in those packages that include it (e.g. Digital Premiere) with a new on-demand movie service called Hitz that they own. (For now, though, Cinemax will remain available a la carte for $12.) Next year, Comcast will roll out a new nationwide OTT streaming on-demand service featuring current and classic NBCUniversal content, plus new original premium-quality series. Once the output deal for Universal theatrical films to air on HBO ends in 2022, everyone expects that those movies will shift to Comcast's own OTT service, which will aim to evolve into a full-fledged competitor to HBO Max (and Hulu and Netflix).
     
  8. Jun 25, 2019 #28 of 104
    johnsom

    johnsom New Member

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    I wish we had a choice. It's only Comcast or satellite here.
     
  9. Jun 25, 2019 #29 of 104
    johnsom

    johnsom New Member

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    Seriously? It's about comcast dropping the on-demand functionality from Tivo and then replacing Cinemax with an on-demand only offering.
     
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  10. Jun 26, 2019 #30 of 104
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    And this is why NBCU/Comcast and AT&T/TW should be broken up. Content and the distribution networks being vertically integrated just doesn't mix well.
     
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  11. Jun 26, 2019 #31 of 104
    smark

    smark Well-Known Member

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    Nothing to do with it. If you want Cinemax, it's still available but ala carte.
     
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  12. Jul 2, 2019 #32 of 104
    Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    They want customers to sign up with AT&T's MVPD/VMVPD, not their competitor's.
     
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  13. Jul 18, 2019 #33 of 104
    spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

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    Looks like I still have Cinemax after yesterday’s removal date. Not sure when Comcast plans to remove the Cinemax channels from my Premiere plan?
     
  14. Jul 18, 2019 #34 of 104
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Some Comcast folks are reporting that the only Cinemax channels that remain on their cable boxes are the east and west feeds of the main Cinemax HD channel. All the other ones (MoreMax, MovieMax, etc.) are now gone, replaced by placeholders in the channel grid to launch Comcast's new Hitz on-demand library.
     
  15. Jul 18, 2019 #35 of 104
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    All my Cinemax channels are gone. (No placeholders, but I didn't expect any on a TiVo.) Hitz is available on the Xfinity app on Roku, has ~250 movies IIRC.
     
  16. Jul 18, 2019 #36 of 104
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Do you subscribe to Cinemax as an a la carte service or was it part of a channel bundle, e.g. Digital Premiere? If the latter, then yeah, it was supposed to completely disappear for you as of yesterday, I think.
     
  17. Jul 18, 2019 #37 of 104
    dishrich

    dishrich Well-Known Member

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    If they go up into the MCLU (1800+) channel range, they should still find all their previously available Cinemax channels ;)

    Comcast never said it was being removed from EVERY plan, so you're probably safe at least for awhile. Did you check to see if you're now getting Hitz for free? (as part of your package now)
    I have a client that's grandfathered on the Complete plan, & as of today, they are still getting Cinemax, & also now getting Hitz.
     
  18. Jul 18, 2019 #38 of 104
    PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

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    I’m in the Philly suburbs and all of my Cinemax channels are gone, the main HD feed and all others in SD as well as the “duplicates” in the 1000’s channel range.

    Edit: I don’t know the name of my plan but it’s one of the upper end ones with almost all channels.
     
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  19. Jul 18, 2019 #39 of 104
    reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    Houston area - Cinemax channels are gone here too.
     
  20. Jul 19, 2019 #40 of 104
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    Houston area? I haven't rec'd any letter or notice about this. I've been following this thread, but figured since I didn't get any notification, Houston was safe.

    ETA: I just dbl checked, haven't received any emails about this from Xfinity. I'm not at home so I can't check until Monday. But I got Jett recording tomorrow night. :(:mad:
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019

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