Weekend Wrap-Up: Price Hikes and Carriage Disputes Ring in the New Year

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It’s January, which means 2020 is officially in the rearview mirror. And while we’re at the start of a brand-new year, some old, familiar topics have popped up in recent headlines — namely: price hikes and carriage disputes. In this week’s wrap-up we highlight some of the biggest stories of the final week of 2020.

Here’s what happened in the world of cord cutting and streaming.

Breaking News

Here are some of the top streaming stories from the past week.

LG Adding QNED Tech to Its 2021 LCD TV Line

The 2021 Consumer Electronics Show is just around the corner, and tech companies are busy readying their latest gear for the online-only show. In LG’s case, that includes a new line of LCD TVs packing what the company is calling QNED technology. The goal is to further improve picture quality on its LCD-based models for those looking for alternatives to the company’s well-regarded OLED TVs.

Read more about LG’s new LCD TV tech here.

$10 Price Hike Reportedly Coming to ESPN+ Annual Plan

It looks like the annual rate for ESPN+ will go up this month. The $10 increase means the annual plan for the sports-focused streaming service will jump from $49.99 to $59.99. The move follows several recent price hikes across the industry, including increases for bundles that feature ESPN+ that were announced as part of Disney’s Investor Day event.

Find out about the ESPN+ price increase here.

Industry Report

What’s the latest on the industry?

Dish Removes Capitol Broadcasting Local Stations

Another week, another carriage dispute. This time, it’s Dish customers experiencing a blackout of three North Carolina stations. The blackout is the result of an ongoing dispute over increased fees between Dish and Capitol Broadcasting.

Learn more about the dispute here.

HBO Max and Disney+ Saw Major Increased App Downloads Christmas Weekend

‘Twas a busy Christmas weekend for HBO Max and Disney+. The two streaming services hosted some big-name premieres over the holiday weekend, which led to a notable uptick in app downloads. Both Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max and Soul on Disney+ appear to have generated a significant amount of interest.

Learn more about the holiday spike here.

YouTube TV and Netflix are the Top Streaming Services of 2020 (Cordie Awards 2020)

In our annual Cordie Awards, YouTube TV and Netflix emerged as clear winners in the live TV streaming and on demand categories, respectively. Several familiar names also ranked highly according to our readers in both categories.

Check out our readers’ top picks here.

Pluto TV is the Best Free Streaming Service of 2020 (Cordie Awards 2020)

Meanwhile, in the free streaming service category, ViacomCBS’ Pluto TV secured a win with our readers as the top free streaming service. The Roku Channel came in second when all the votes were tallied.

See our readers’ top free streaming service picks here.

The All-New Roku Ultra is the Best New Streaming Player of the Year (Cordie Awards 2020)

In the hardware department, the 2020 Roku Ultra took top honors as the best new streaming player of 2020 according to our readers. In second place, the much-improved Chromecast with Google TV ranked highly as well.

Learn more about our readers’ hardware picks here.

Deal Alert

Save some cash with these current and upcoming deals.

Watch ESPN, NFL Network, Disney, Discovery & More with Vidgo for Just $10/Month

Vidgo’s End-of-the-Year sale offers up two months of access for $10 per month. When you consider the streaming service’s regular monthly price of $55, that adds up to $90 in savings.

Find our more about Vidgo’s deal here.

Expert Insights from Our Editors

Sling TV: Solid Pricing with a Few Caveats

Meanwhile, over on our YouTube channel, we published our review of Sling TV. If you’ve been interested in what the live TV streaming service has to offer, this full review (and the two companion videos from last week) should help.

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