Netflix wins, Netflix loses, and Overwatch on TV?! All this and more on Cordkillers! With special guest Mikey Neumann.

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CordKillers: Ep. 228 - No More Petri Dishes
Recorded: July 16 2018
Guest: Mikey Neumann

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • For the first time, Netflix tops HBO for most Emmy nominations
    - Netflix received 112 Emmy nominations slightly ahead of HBO's 108, and breaking HBO's 17-year streak as the most-nominated network. Among the Netflix shows getting nominated were Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, GLOW, The Crown and Stranger Things. Jason Bateman also got nominated for Ozark and the USS Callister episdoe of Black Mirror got a nod. Hulu got 27 nominations, 20 of which were for Handmaid's Tale, making it the third-most nominated show behind Westworld and Game of Thrones. Amazon got 22 nominations. ONly 10 years ago was HBO's domination of non-broadcast Emmies broken by Mad Men, Damages and Dexter. The Emmies will be awarded September 17th with hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che.
  • Netflix Isn’t Being Reckless, It’s Just Playing a Game No One Else Dares
    - has an extensive explanation of how Netflix is winning. The tl;dr is that the more subscribers Netflix gets the more shows it can make because it's not limited by a time slot, because it's a la carte, people are more likely to use it if they pay for it, and it can have a world market for unprecedented scale.
  • Netflix shares tank after big miss on subscriber growth
    - Netflix subscribers reached 130 million worldwide last quarter but that was 1 million fewer than expected. Netflix added 4.47 million subscribers internationally, below the expected 4.97 million and added 670,000 subscribers in the US below the 1.19 million expected. Netflix said it had “over-forecasted” quarterly fluctuations in the pace of new customers. Revenue and earnings both beat expectations.
  • Netflix Falls Short of Q2 Subscriber Expectations Worldwide, Stock Dives
    - Netflix reported Q2 revenue of $3.91 billion, up 40% year over year, and earnings per share of 85 cents (versus 15 cents in the year-ago quarter)

How to Watch

  • Roku wants to make your smart TV sound better with its new Wireless Speakers
    - Roku introduced its Roku TV Wireless Speakers, for use with Roku TVs, but not with Roku boxes or sticks. The speakers connect to a Roku-powered TV using the WiFi-powered Roku Connect platform announced at CES. The speakers also have Bluetooth for playing music from other devices. The speakers come with the Roku TV Voice Remote and a square Roku Touch remote for keeping on a coffee table. Customers who pre-order now can get them for $150 until July 24, and $180 after that until October 15 when they start shipping and become $200.

What to Watch

What We're Watching

Front Lines

  • AT&T CEO confident Time Warner deal on solid ground
    - A judge ruled against blocking the AT&T Time Warner merger on June 12. The US Department of Justice said it would not seek an injunction to stop the merger. The deal closed and the companies merged on June 14. However the DoJ said at the time it was still considering whether or not to appeal. Thursday it came out that the DoJ has filed an appeal of the decision in the U.S. District Court in Washington . If it prevails in court the merger that is a month old would have to be undone.
  • Overwatch League will air on ABC, ESPN and Disney networks
    - Blizzard and Disney have agreed to a multi-year deal to show Overwatch League matches on ESPN, ESPN2, Disney XD, and ABC. That includes Live airings and full replays on broadcast as well as highlight packages online. The deals do not affect Blizzard's deal with Twitch. Wednesday's Quarterfinals air at 8PM Eastern on Disney XD and ESPN3. Finals are set to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on July 27th and 28th.
  • Netflix experiments with promoting its shows on the login screen
    - Netflix has been testing playing trailers for its originals on the lock screen of its app. TechCrunch saw the test on Roku and Fire TV Netflix apps. Netflix confirmed the test and says it is running for TV.
  • 'Drive' director's free cult film streaming service debuts this month
    - Nicolas Winding Refn, director of the movie Drive is launching ByNWR later this month. It's a streaming service for overlooked cult films like Night Tide, The Burning Hell, and Hot Thrills and Warm Chills. The selection will be based on themes and rotate each month potentially along with essays, music and photos too.
  • Netflix makes it easier to manage downloaded shows on Android
    - Netflix has launched Smart downloads for its Android app. The feature automatically deletes downloads you've finished watching and replaces it with the next episode in case you forget before you move away from your internet connection. Users can turn off Smart Downloads in settings if they want.
  • Blockbuster is one store away from extinction in the US
    - The last two Blockbuster Video stores in Alaska have closed leaving one last Blockbuster up and running in Bend, Oregon. The chain still has several stores and kiosks in Australia.

Dispatches from the Front

I'd love to support your program as it has really helped me since I've been watching.

However, I'm not a Patreon fan. Paypal? Check? You name it and I'll try to do it.

Thanks for what you're doing for the community.

- Harold




When I go to Netflix I'm paralyzed by the number of choices. Sometimes I even switch to some less prolific service because I can't decide. What I'd like instead is themed streams like SciFi, Documentaries, Romance, Sitcoms, etc., that I can join already in progress. I don't mind watching the second half of a Star Trek episode (even if it's not great) or starting partway into an old movie. These are things that I enjoy watching but probably wouldn't pick from Netflix's huge catalog.

Of course, that's was the only way we could watch TV when we grew up -- so maybe I'm just nostalgic.
- Chris





 I just thought I would give you a couple perspectives from a long time (over a decade) cordkiller. The only form of sportsball I can imagine watching is soccer, and though I was able to find highlights of World Cup games, they were mostly pretty bad, so I decided to get a month of YouTube TV, and am overall very happy with what I received for 40 bucks. All I had to do was click on "record everything World Cup", and I got each game, with the advantage that when I finally watched them a day or two later, I would get only the game - no pregame, half-time or post game shows, and I could watch at a faster speed, usually 1.5x. When a game ended, it would usually set up another game I hadn't seen yet, but on two occasions, I got soap operas auto starting. Apparently, YouTube TV doesn't correlate my long history in the regular YouTube experience with the TV because I have never watched anything like or related to a soap opera. In fact the only other things I clicked on to record were a couple of MCU films I hadn't seen. So where did the soap operas come from???? That anomaly, along with the fact there is nothing else worth 40 bucks on there means I will be canceling as soon as I catch up on my last game.

- Dave




After hanging up in frustration on my annual "please lower my bill" call to Comcast, I ordered an antenna. I had tried a cheap one before, but this time I used a nice one recommended by It worked much better than my previous experience.

I'm one of those curmudgeons still loving Windows Media Center, but I decided to give Plex's relatively new TV/DVR feature a try. Setup was easy and the feature set is almost there, but the deal breaker is that you have to wait until a show is done recording to watch it. Hopefully they'll add that soon and I can switch over.

I turned my cable card back in to Comcast, dropped my internet speed to save a few more buckets and reduced my bill from $98/month to $45/month. They threw in a free month of their Instant TV service as well. It’s easy to justify a nice antenna when you’re saving $53/month!

After listening to you since the Frame Rate days, I can finally say that I'm an official Cordkiller!

Your boss,

- Ben 




Hey Bryce, Brian, Tom, and guest(s)(?),

I'm with you in theory when it comes to the general public about reviewing stuff on Netflix, but I personally have stopped rating things because yes/no is way more difficult for me than something on a scale from "I hate it" to "I loved it" (the old 5 star levels)

Regardless, Netflix's recommendations used to be about putting content in front of me that they thought I would like. I discovered Howl's Moving Castle and other Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki movies because of Netflix's old recommendations. Now, they just push their own new stuff with their auto-playing trailers, and I don't even have the option of the old "not interested" button to make it go away. (All this despite the fact that I'm still most likely to continue watching that show I've been going through the past month)

Sorry this got ranty. I'm just incredibly disappointed because the system that worked so well for me simply doesn't exist anymore. That said, I expect Tom's movie ratings from now on to be yes/no instead of the bad/good/great/amazing scale he has been using. Keep up the good work.

- Greg



2018 Summer Movie Draft

AuthorBryce Castillo

Directorial backlash, anime on Netflix, and Sony leaked their own movie! All this and more on Cordkillers! With special guest Nicole Lee.

CordKillers: Ep. 227 - Stankey Feels Swanky
Recorded: July 9 2018
Guest: Nicole Lee

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • ‘Logan’ Director James Mangold Warns Against Extreme Fan Backlash
    - James Mangold, who directed Logan, posted on Twitter that fan outrage may drive people away from wanting to be involved with big franchises. "At the point when work writing & directing big franchises has become the emotionally loaded equivalent of writing a new chapter of The Bible (w/ the probable danger of being stoned & called a blasphemer), then a lot of bolder minds r gonna leave these films 2 hacks & corp boards."
  • Christopher McQuarrie wanted to make a Star Wars movie until he got a taste of Star Wars Twitter
    - Christopher McQuarrie was tagged in a tweet by Rian Johnson, recommending folks follow McQuarrie for writing advice. Anti-Last Jedi people flooded both their mentions, leading McQuarrie to reply "My friend, After five minutes of this, I don’t know why you’re still on Twitter. I would have loved to make a Star Wars film someday. I’m cured."

How to Watch

  • AT&T wants to overhaul HBO, says it isn’t profitable enough
    - New WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey has indicated he thinks HBO must broaden focus to stay competitive. According to the New York Times Stankey told staff that HBO needs to increase the amount of time viewers watch HBO. "We need hours a day...It's not hours a week, and it's not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people's hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes." Stankey also said that he and HBO CEO Richard Plepler hope to produce more without sacrificing HBO's standards. Stankey also said employees are going to have to work harder.
  • Netflix is testing a new 'Ultra' tier of service
    - Some European users have noticed an Ultra tier in options for Netflix plans. The plans have showed up with prices from €16.99 to €19.99 The current top tier is Premium at €13.99. Sometimes the higher price was the same options as premium and other times premium became only 2 simultaneous streams with no HDR. Netflix told CNET it's testing different price points and features to see what customers value.
  • Netflix will remove user reviews from its website next month
    - AND Netflix notified users it will remove user reviews from its service. Netflix says usage of the written reviews has been declining. CNET reports Netflix will stop accepting new reviews on July 30 and remove them sometime in mid-August.
  • Netflix Is Expected to Spend up to $13 Billion on Original Programming
    - A survey last week from Wall Street firm Cowen & Co. found that of 2500 US adults surveyed, 27% of respondents used Netflix most often to watch video, trailed by basic cable at 20%, broadcast TV at 18%, and YouTube at 11%. Netflix had an even bigger lead among adults 18-35, dominating the viewing habits of 40% of respondents in that age group.

What to Watch

  • Ultraman Is Coming to Netflix, Alongside the Return of Castlevania and Aggretsuko
    - At Anime Expo, Netflix announced loads of shows including a renewal of Aggretskuo for 2019 and Castlevania coming October 26. Netflix also announced a sequel to Monster Planet, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle coming July 18 and the series Dragon Pilot coming September 21. And in 2019 the debut of Ultraman from Production IG, Kengan Ashura a middle-age salary man conscripted to fight deadly brawls fro his company and Canon Busters group of quirky robots forced to work together to find a missing princess.
  • Netflix snaps up musical series originally intended for Fox
    - Netflix also ordered 10 episodes of Mixtape, a romantic musical series that Fox piloted but did not green light. The show intertwines love stories from a disparate group of people living in Los Angeles who all apparently sing.

What We're Watching

Front Lines

  • TiVo CEO leaves to join Liberty Global as CTO after less than a year with the DVR maker
    - TiVo CEO Enrique Rodriguez is leaving the company for a role at Liberty Global, where he will become its CTO. Rodriguez joined Tivo in November 2017. Raghu Rau, who is on TiVo’s board, has been named the interim president and CEO of the company. Rodriguez will keep an advisory role.Jessica
  • Sony posted a whole movie to YouTube instead of the trailer
    - Oh human error is sure funny. Sony posted the entire direct-to-DV movie "Khali the Killer" to its YouTube channel 9 months after it hit retail. The funny thing is, the title of the video was "Official Red Band Trailer". OOPS!
  • UK job ad indicates Amazon wants to bring TV advertising and free TV channels to Prime
    - An Amazon job posting in the UK is seeking a Head of Free to Air TV & Advertising. After people noticed it, Amazon changed it to “Head of Prime Video Channels Free To Air TV & Advertising TV Partner Channels.” and then changed again to “Head of Prime Video Partner Channels”. The description said "This individual will be responsible for widening the content range with the development of free and advertising-funded channels... and act as internal champion for free-to-air and advertising funded content." Some expect this relates to Premier League soccer running on Prime next year for free, with traditional commercials running during the matches.
  • MoviePass subscribers will now pay surcharges for popular showtimes
    - MoviePass surge pricing has gone into effect, saying, “movies that are high in demand for title, date, or time of day will be impacted.” Movies in the app will display a red lightning icon when they are in peak pricing and a gray icon when they are approaching peak pricing status. The amounts and conditions of the increase are not noted. One example showed Avengers: Infinity War costing $4.43 extra to see at 7 PM. Subscribers can waive one peak pricing fee per month.
  • Microsoft may be making a Movies & TV app for iOS and Android
    - Sources told Windows Central that Microsoft is working on a Movies and TV app for iOs and Android. Microsoft has been developing versions of its mobile apps like Edge and Launcher for iOS and Android, so it would fit in that pattern.

Dispatches from the Front

Hey guys,

We paid $160 per month for cable and a “sports package” through Spectrum. We cut the cord and only spend around $60 per month for our services (Sling, Hulu, Philo). We do not count Netflix or Amazon in the calculations because we already had those services prior.

We also got a Tablo 4 tuner OTA device and multiple Rokus. So we had to wait 10 months or so to effectively see the gains. But we are now operating on a savings of $100 a month. Truthfully, cable is easier. With the streaming services, we have to think about which service has the channel we want to watch. Is anyone else in the house watching? Buffering issues with one service so switch over to another, etc. etc. etc.

With cable you can just turn on and go to the channel [package] you want with ease. ... I look forward to the day that one service will give me a list of every channel that exists and allows me to check the box for each channel I want and then quote me a price. I pay and bleep-blop-boop I’ve got one service to rule them all. ...

Anyways, thanks for all the information and entertainment you guys provide. I’ve been a long time Cord Killers listener. And I’ve pretty much gotten into the entire Diamond Club stable of podcasts. Cord Killers was my gateway drug into DTNS/Night Attack/Weird Things/PoliticsPoliticsPolitics. I’ve long lived under the belief to not buy the cow when you get the milk for free. But you know what? I’m thinking about heading over to patreon and buying me some cows.

- Keith 





Hey guys! Some good news for Canadian cordcutters. I got a call from my ISP (TELUS) with a new steaming offer. It’s called PIK tv, it has live video like cable but streamed on your phone, tablet or computer with an option to buy an android box if need be. It’s $10/ month with up to 23 regional channels, 5 extras to add on and a few “premium” channels that are add on subscriptions. Looks like we are finally getting some services like you guys south of us!

- Ian





Hi Brian and Tom,

As I was listening to Brian's description of his ideal "pop culture sherpa" experience, my only thought was, "This sounds exhausting. I definitely don't want this."

I agree that this is not what services like DC Universe is up to. I think instead they see successful services like Amazon Prime that bundle a bunch of separate media subscription services together. Amazon probably finds that it's easy to offer more "services" that seem to provide more value, even though most customers don't actually use all services on offer.

- Alan





Hey employees and guest host,

I don't know what you're talking about regarding the last Indiana Jones movie, I can still remember when I saw it in the theater and will remember the experience till the day I die. It might be because of the in-theater experience that I had. I saw it at the now closed Ziegfield Theater in midtown Manhattan. A great old movie palace, plus there was this guy that had the striking resemblance to Paul McCartney sitting in my row. Then the movie ended, and this guy spoke to his wife, and he even had an English accent. Huh, this guy could be a shorter Paul McCartney. And then literally everyone else gawked at him once out in the lobby, because it was actually Paul McCartney.

I watched a random movie with a freaking Beatle!

I've never gone back to watch it, but I do have a foggy recollection that there was a flying refrigerator that Indiana Jones was inside for some reason, but that couldn't have been, because that doesn't make a lick of sense.

Keep up the good work,
Your boss

- Sean


2018 Summer Movie Draft

AuthorBryce Castillo

It's a packed Spoilerin' Time with Incredibles 2, a quick check on What We Do in the Shadows, plus Deadwood and Preacher! With special guest Brian Ibbott ( ).

00:53 - Summer Movie Draft update
04:49 - Incredibles 2
17:50 - What We Do in the Shadows
20:31 - Deadwood (302)
29:01 - Preacher (301-302)

AuthorBryce Castillo