A streaming service for the sports apathetic, why people watch Netflix in the bathrooms, and Twitter tries to win the 24 hour news game. With special guest Kristi Kates.

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CordKillers: Ep. 196 - You Might Be Part of the 7%
Recorded: November 20 2017
Guest: Kristi Kates

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Philo non-sports Pay TV service
    - Philo launched this week
    - Streaming service from A&E, Scripps, Discovery, AMC and Viacom
    - Base for $16 a month, Extras for $20 a month
    - Web, Roku, iOS

How to Watch

  • People watch Netflix at work and in public bathrooms 
    - Netflix commissioned survey
    - 37,000 adults between late August and early September
    - 67% of people watch TV and movie in public
    - planes, buses, commuting most popular
    - 26% said binged shows at work.
    - 7% worldwide admitted watching TV and movies in public restrooms
    - Mobile makes up 10% of its viewing though half of users stream from phone during a month

What to Watch

What We're Watching

Front Lines


Dispatches from the Front


I would like to points out that when you use MoviePass to artifically inflate points that it's the movie theater that loses out because you are getting stuff for free

- John


Tom and Brian,

Just finished listening to Episode 195 in which you read an email from Joshua where he says he buys tickets using his Moviepass everyday just to rack up loyalty points. A quick look at the Moviepass terms of service shows that is in fact against the TOS.

One of the items that they list as a reason to terminate your account is:

(ix) On more than one occasion during any thirty (30) day period you do not view the movie for which you purchased a ticket with your MoviePass Card in its entirety.

I'm sure you've gotten several emails on the same subject, but I just thought it was worth a mention. Moviepass seems like a great deal and I am getting ready to sign up, and I would hate for everyone to lose it because some folks aren't playing by the rules.


- Don



So I have to reverse my opinion that I tweeted to Tom and Brian earlier about MoviePass. It was a great company when it was $40 a month. The price cut and expansion with $10 a month has thrown all levels of customer service they used to have in the trash.

As someone who works in customer service I’m a little less lenient in this area than some (I broke relations with a game developer from poor service regarding $15.) but my partner and I have two different problems and they won’t respond to either of us. I have my card and no way to activate it and my partner has an activated card but no physical card. We have tried Facebook, Twitter, instagram in addition to the in-app chat support and email and no response from the company at all. It’s been a rather disappointing experience since the business model changed for MoviePass.

- Jeff



Hello Valued Employees (and guest),

So I'm wondering what you think about the idea that Netflix is ahead of the game in international distribution, with the key being their Netflix Originals brand.

With shows such as Peaky Blinders, The Expanse and ST Discovery all being branded "Netflix Originals" outside of their home territories, it seems like Netflix is playing the long game worldwide to increase their prominence and their mindshare with audiences, while the other big media companies still haven't risen their eyes above the horizon and are just obsessively squabbling over the US domestic market.

TL;DR Netflix is focusing on the rest of the world, discuss!

Thanks for a great show - keep up the good work and maybe you'll get those xmas bonuses!

- Micky




Hey there, just a small note on CW shows on Netflix. Tom had said that the previous season is available the day the new season starts. However, they show up 8 days after the season ends:

Netflix and the CW Confirm New Licensing Deal for All Scripted Series

Sorry if 400 people pointed this out! :D

- Rob



2017 Winter Movie Draft

AuthorTom Merritt

Disney’s ready to beat Netflix, Roku's beating the world, and Lord of the Rings is coming to Amazon. With special guest Nicole Lee.

CordKillers: Ep. 195 - Coruscant Legal
Recorded: November 14 2017
Guest: Nicole Lee

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • ESPN’s new streaming service will launch in the spring and be called “ESPN Plus”
    - During Disney's earnings call, CEO Bob Iger said the company will launch a streaming service called ESPNPlus in Spring 2018. Iger said the new app will let users "stream our channels on an authenticated basis and subscribe to ESPN+ for additional sports coverage, including thousands of live sporting events.”
  • Disney’s streaming service has won, and it hasn’t even launched yet
    - Disney will launch its streaming service in 2019. Disney CEO Bob Iger said it will be cheaper than Netflix, with fewer titles but from Disney's top level properties, though he said pricing could reflect volume over time, so expect price increases. It will have original shows made specifically for the service including a live-action Star Wars show, a Marvel show, a Monsters Inc. show and one based on High School Musical. Disney will also make 4-5 films a year specifically for the new service.
  • Star Wars is getting an all-new trilogy from Rian Johnson
    - LucasFilm announced that Rian Johnson will create a new Star Wars trilogy and write and direct the first movie of it. The trilogy will be separate from the Skywalker saga and introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored. No release dates or other information were released.

How to Watch

  • Roku soars 26% after smashing first earnings report
  • Roku is probably getting into intelligent home audio 
  • Philips is the latest TV manufacturer to partner with streaming powerhouse Roku
    - Roku had its first earnings report since going public and it was a good one
    - 124.8 million in net revenue beat expectations of $110.5 mm and above last year's $89 mm
    - Adjusted losses of 10 cents a share beat last years loss of 17 cents. Net loss was $46.2 million. Loss from operations was $7.9 million
    - Advertising more than doubled year over year
    - 1 in 5 smart TVs sold in the U.S. are Roku TVs
    - Active accounts for the quarter totaled 16.7 million, up 48% year-over-year
    - Users streamed 3.8 billion hours in the quarter, up 58% from the same period last year.
    - Roku acquired audio Startup Dynastrom in September (Variety just noticed the regulatory filing)
    - Indicates Roku might jump into intelligent multi-room audio a la Amazon Echo and Sonos.
    - Roku has been working on far-field mics
    - Monday announced a partnership with Philips, which becomes the seventh television brand to feature the excellent Roku TV operating system

What to Watch

What We're Watching

Font Lines

  • Netflix’s first Mark Millar project is a comic called ‘The Magic Order’
    Netflix is launching its first comic book since acquiring Millarworld, called The Magic Order. It's written by Millar with art by Olivier Coipel (Thor, The Avengers). Someone is targeting a family of magicians.
  • Hulu is Nintendo’s first video streaming app for the Switch
    - Hulu became the first video service for US owners of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has said it intends to add Netflix and other streaming services to the device.
  • Amazon Developing a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video
    - AdAge reports Amazon is developing a free ad-supported version of its Prime video streaming service. AdAge says Amazon is considering giving content creators their own channels and sharing ad revenue in exchange for a set amount of content per week.
  • Sling TV gains help Dish ride out Maria losses
    - Dish network lost fewer than expected video subscribers in Q3 thanks to Sling TV. The company had to write off 145,000 subscribers fees because of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. That brought overall pay TV subscribers down 129,000 on the quarter but the company says it added 16,000 subscribers in mainland US. Dish didn't report Sling TV subscribers separately but analysts at Evercore estimate Dish added between 224 and 226,000 Sling TV subs.
  • Apple is making a new TV show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston
    - Apple said it's making a show with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon about the morning TV show industry. This is the second big-name show Apple has acquired, the first being Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories. Apple has not announced how it plans to make the shows available.
  • HBO launches Soderbergh’s choose-the-order storytelling app and show Mosaic
    - HBO launched a show on the app Mosaic for Apple TV and iOS which lets viewers decide the viewing order and perspective of a 7.5-hour murder mystery miniseries from Steven Soderbergh, starring Sharon Stone. The information doesn't change as you progress only the perspective and what you see. HBO will air it's own linear cut of the series on January 22. Mosaic is made by PodOp with HBO funding.

Dispatches from the Front

Hi Brian & Tom,

I've been an avid listener to your show since the TWiT days.

Louis CK recently was accused of sexual misconduct by 5 women. Despite not being found guilty, HBO quickly removed his content from their online streaming service.

While convenience might trump fidelity, I would say owning a physical copy easily trumps the whims of a streaming services. With the current culture of today, I have a feeling a lot more content is going to be pulled from online services before this black cloud over Hollywood has ended.

At least I know that whatever I own is safe no matter what the actor or actress has done in their private life. What are your thoughts?

Keep up the good work.

- Tim




Dear Tom and Brian,

Your Boss (Roy Hobbs) normally from rainy Seattle but checking in from Sunny Bora Bora while on vacation. Just wanted to let you know using the hack you two talked about on a previous show I have downloaded the 1st 8 episodes of Star Trek Discovery on Netflix which I will happily binge FOR FREE when I get home. You guys did a good job. Take the rest of the week off!

- Roy



I'm a bit behind on shows, but wanted to comment on items discussed in the most recent shows I've listened to.

First is about the availability of the DC comics based shows on the CW, I believe mentioned by Bryce. Asof writing, all of these shows along with iZombie and Agents of SHIELD, are on the Netflix streaming service. Granted, you have to wait some time after the season is over, anywhere from a few weeks to a month or so, but all episodes from the previous seasons are available (note, there is a recommended order for the Invasion crossover, grin).

- Paul




Hey Tom, Brian, and guests,

I was very intrigued by the Moviepass idea and ordered one within the first few days of the price drop. I was not a very active movie goer before Moviepass, I only could justify the $12/ticket price about twice a year. Now I see a movie almost every week, but I buy tickets almost everyday...

My local theater is run by Regal Cinemas, and they have an awards program called Regal Crown Club. Every dollar spent is the equivalent of 100 points, and after visiting (buying tickets) 20 times in a year you get an extra 1,000 points per visit.

My office is connected to our towns mall where the movie theater is located. Almost everyday on my lunch break I'll walk over to Regal's kiosk and buy a ticket to a movie I'm not interested in seeing purely to bank the reward points.

As you can imagine I have accumulated points very rapidly. These points can be used for concessions, merch, or movie tickets. I'm sure not that many people are using Moviepass like this, but at least 3 or 4 within my office are (I'm to blame).

Without Moviepass partnering with the theaters to record when tickets are actually being used, it will be hard to prevent people like me from taking them up on the offer to buy a ticket a day. My $10 a month is costing Moviepass upwards of $200 and is fully paying for my concessions each week.

Thanks for all of the podcasts you both do, I've enjoyed listening to Tom's insights since BOL and more recently getting to "know" Brian.

- Joshua 



Keep this trick quiet. I subscribe to Netflix disc service,I get 2 Blu Rays at a time . I put them into my optical drive and use VUDU’s disc to digital service and for $4 I get an HD copy on VUDU, then with Movies Anywhere it upgrades it to 4k for free on my Apple TV .

Awesome and Legal

Your long time listener
- John




Hello gentlemen,

I know you appreciate tl;dr’s so I’ll lead off with one before unloading several paragraphs and invariable causing Brian to sigh and roll his eyes.


1. Did y’all watch Orville Season 1 Episode 7 - Majority Rule? Hot damn, that was good. I could probably check Spoilerin’ Time, which brings me to 2...

2. I know we’re trying to gather more Patron’s for a breakdown of Spoilerin’ Time by show... can I just up my pledge to get us there faster?

3. I don’t recall if you’ve ever mentioned Halt and Catch Fire, or had it as part of your brackets, but if not you’re doing yourselves a disservice. It’s good, and it stuck the landing.

- Mike


2017 Winter Movie Draft

AuthorTom Merritt

Why Brian saw Thor twice, the last two episodes of Stranger Things, Tom thinks they may have seen the most boring Mr. Robot yet, and Mal finds love on Firefly. 

01:18 - Winter Movie Draft 2017
03:26 - Thor: Ragnarok
14:49 - Mr. Robot (304)
23:30 - Stranger Things (208-209)
35:08 - Firefly (Heart of Gold)

AuthorTom Merritt

What's going to happen to House of Cards? Apple TV 4K gets more reasonable controls. Might Disney buy its way back into controlling X-Men and Fantastic 4?

CordKillers: Ep. 194 - Accomplished Cord Murderers
Recorded: November 6 2017
Guest: Iyaz Akhtar

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • 21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Disney
    - CNBC has sources who say 21st Century Fox has been holding talks with Disney over a potential sale of everything but news and sports. The idea would be to sell international assets and movie and TV production to Disney. In other words , X-Men and Deadpool would come back to Marvel. Fox's leaderhsip supposedly fears it will not be able to compete on its own with Netflix and Amazon.

How to Watch

  • Apple TV 4K top get finer tuned controls in update
    - The Apple TV tvOS 11.2 update (in beta as of last Monday) will let users set the Apple TV to automatically switch display settings to native frame rate and dynamic range. Two separate options.
    - Apps must be adapted to respect the new settings.
    - Currently Apple TV picks the highest settings a TV can do and shows everything at that rate by upscaling if necessary. Manual tweaks are necessary for each video.
    - The simpler setting will remain the default. Apple is concerned the new setting will upset some users as it causes flickers when adjusting the display.

What to Watch

  • Netflix drops Kevin Spacey from House of Cards
  • Netflix developing a House of Cards spinoff
    - Friday in statement Netflix said “Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show. We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore, which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey."
    - Media Rights Capital says that Spacey has been suspended from House of Cards, effective immediately.
    - Season 6 production had begun with Spacey. Production suspended Oct. 31.
    - The Verge mentions the producers may consider killing off Frank Underwood.
    - Variety reports Netflix in "very early stages" a spinoff, centering on Doug Stamper, with EP of seasons 1-4 Eric Roth attached. Two other spinoff ideas are being explored.
  • Netflix film 'Tau' will feature an evil smart house
    - Netflix has acquired rights to Tau, from Marvel animatics director Federico D'Alessandro. a former street grifter named Julia (played by Maika Monroe) who is kidnapped by sadistic Alex (Ed Skrein) and held captive by an advanced artificial intelligence named Tau. Also stars Gary Oldman.
  • Iyaz's Netpicks segment for November

What We're Watching

Front Lines

  • ‘Lord Of The Rings’ TV Series Shopped With Huge Rights Payment Attached
    - Variety reports Amazon is in "very early" talks with Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate on a series based on Lord of the Rings. The Tolkien Estate has also approached Netflix and HBO, although HBO has reportedly passed. CEO Jeff Bezos is supposedly personally involved. Deadline says the rights alone would cost $200-$250 million. Rights may not encompass all characters either.
  • Nielsen Says Stranger Things Is a Big Hit. But Netflix Says Their Numbers Are Upside Down
    - Nielsen says its estimates show 15.8 million people in the US watched the first episode of Stranger Things in the first three days, putting the show alongside Game of Thrones and Walking Dead. Netflix said, “the data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.”
  • Streaming Services Help Fuel Growth at CBS as Political Ads Decline
    - CBS reported earnings and cited a 3% revenue climb on affiliate and subscription fee growth of 52% led by boxing on Showtime, higher retrans fees for local TV stations and digital growth including CBS All Access. A new sports OTT venture called CBS Sports HQ is set to launch in the coming months. Content licensing and distribution fell 22% and ad revenue dropped 5% with no election to juice ad sales.
  • Netflix adds 4K streaming for Comcast Xfinity X1 users
    - Netflix has added 4K streaming functionality to its app on the Comcast Xfinity X1 set-top box. Netflix is available in 4K on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast Ultra, Roku, Sony TV, and more.

Dispatches from the Front

Your discussion about the possibility that interface is king hit home. While my family subscribes to various streaming services we have not gone beyond shaving the cord. We have DirecTV with DVR. We put 100% of all the TV shows that we watch on the list. The only time we care about what time and channel a show comes on is during the setup process. When it’s time to watch TV we go directly to the DVR list. Once the DVR list is clear we switch to finding a show to binge on Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. I have been looking at alternatives such as the Plex Live TV with DVR but nothing works at cleanly as the setup we have now. If DirecTV really wanted to lock me in (so I’d quit looking) is to set up their DVR so that it would pull shows from streaming services into the list. Why can’t Star Trek Discovery show up ready to watch right next to The Walking Dead?

On a completely different subject. The Orville is proving to be a classic Star Trek type series (albeit less stiff) giving us the traditional story of the week while Discovery has gone the modern route of serialized drama. I find I like both series and it got me thinking. Is there still room for traditional story of the week shows or are they old fashioned?

- Troy



I just wanted to point out something cool I noticed after activating Movies Anywhere. A couple years ago, I used VUDU's Disc to Digital service to convert some of my DVDs to digital copies for a few bucks a piece. I had forgotten about them until they popped up in my iTunes library after I activated Movies Anywhere. Back then, you had to put the DVD in your computer's old-fasioned "disc drive" to confirm you had the physical copy. Now, you can just scan the barcode on the DVD case with your phone using the VUDU app. I tried this with a couple Harry Potter DVDs we recently got from Goodwill, and it worked flawlessly. I had Prisoner of Azkaban playing on the Apple TV faster than it would have taken to find the DVD remote.

Quick note: if you only pay the $2 for a standard definition copy, it seems that you will only get the standard def in iTunes. I was hoping it wouldn't notice and do the HD version, but alas, I know own Goblet of Fire in 480.

Hope some of you find this useful!

- Andrew




Regarding spoilers and getting a better experience of the show knowing upcoming plots:
I am binge watching "insert show here", one of the characters is hinted that she will be dead by the end of the season, I look it up and yes, her character is not returning next season.
Me knowing that a character that has been on the show since day one will not return makes it more enjoyable for me to enjoy the show as I can process the upcoming death scene.
- Sina




Having worked as a software engineer for a very large financial entity , I have a pretty solid understanding of how statistical experiments work.

The thing is, every experiment basically boils down to establishing causality between two variables. If I change X, does it affect Y and if so how much?

Most "Bad" studies fail because they either:
1) fail to properly define their variables
2) fail to properly establish causality
(i'm simplifying majorly here but it's the gist)

The problem nelson faces is how to properly define the variables. However I don't think this is a impossible task. Taking the netflix example , you can pretty easily run an experiment to establish "if movies of this genre appear on their home screen then they're more likely to like this procedural drama" etc

so I think Nielsen still has a pretty good future.

- Sean




I loved the discussion about Movies Anywhere in Episode 191. I was so excited, I signed up at my first available opportunity. Connecting all the services went VERY smoothly on my cell phone EXCEPT for iTunes (I'm an Android), but I even got that connected once I got to a desktop. Libraries on the various services either updated immediately or with a refresh.

According to this article in The Verge, 4K upgrades are apparently limited to Apple titles:

Example: I own Glory in HD on Vudu (Disc upgrade). It is available on all of the other services, but there is a 4K version on Amazon. I do not have access to that one, even after registering with Movies Anywhere.

I hope other studios get on board with the 4K upgrades. It also irks me that the 4K versions of some movies are only available on one service (two I know about: Star Trek Beyond is only 4K on Vudu, Glory is only 4K on Amazon). This obstacle will slow the adoption of 4K - convenience trumps fidelity!

Your Boss :)
- Chris 




I love the show, I've been listening for a little over a year now as well as heeding your advice.

My wife and I are just starting to watch Game of Thrones and I'd love to listen to your guys' past perspectives in Spoilerin' Time from season 1 forward.

What was the number of Patrons that you needed to be able to catalog Spoilerin' Time by show?

- Casey


2017 Winter Movie Draft

AuthorTom Merritt
3 CommentsPost a comment