Quitting Cable? Here Are 5 TV Services That Launch in 2020

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A senior man holds a remote control and coffee while watching tv on his sofa
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Home entertainment has never been more convenient. If you have a sudden yearning to watch an old movie or TV show — or English soccer, for that matter — it’s likely you can cue it up within seconds on a streaming service.

The flow of new streaming services isn’t stopping any time soon. More companies are scrambling to serve up streaming entertainment in 2020, and at least one should appeal to your interests.

Following is a look at some new options for next year.

1. AT&T TV

This service offers the content of DirecTV, but without the satellite dish. AT&T TV (AT&T owns DirecTV) is already available in some markets and is expanding nationwide next year.

The new service offers live TV, on-demand titles and 500 hours of cloud DVR recording, including a Spanish-language channel of entertainment and sports.

Channel packages start at $59.99 a month for the first year with a two-year agreement. You need a TV-top box — one box is included for free — to use the service.

The basic package includes ESPN, TNT, Nickelodeon and HGTV; higher-priced packages can include Sundance TV, National Geographic Wild and others. Enter your ZIP code to see the channels offered in your area.

2. Discovery/BBC

Love the science and nature content for which Discovery Channel and the BBC are famous? Those educational powerhouses have joined forces for an upcoming video on-demand subscription service.

Not much has been revealed since the announcement in April, but that release promised original content as well as older programs such as “Planet Earth,” “Blue Planet.” There’s no name or launch date — just simply “2020.” Consumer Reports says that a subscription will likely cost about $5 a month.

3. HBO Max

AT&T is going all in on streaming services. Its WarnerMedia Entertainment arm, which includes HBO, TBS and TNT, is about to launch a streaming service called HBO Max.

HBO Max is expected to include HBO’s movie and TV content plus other programming, including the famed Studio Ghibli Japanese anime films. The new service’s catalog will include the 1990s sitcom “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory,” and original shows and movies.

HBO Max launches in May 2020 at a cost of $14.99 a month. AT&T chief operating officer John Stankey tells Reuters the service will be free for HBO NOW subscribers who are billed directly through HBO.

4. Peacock

NBCUniversal wants to get in on the streaming game and has named its service Peacock, after its longtime mascot.

You can expect:

  • Classic NBC shows such as “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”
  • Movies from Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation and other studios
  • A slate of original programming and other content, including news, sports, late-night talk shows, and reality TV.

The original programming will include reboots of shows, including “Saved by the Bell,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Punky Brewster.” Pricing hasn’t yet been announced. The service, which launches in April 2020, will be both subscription based and ad-supported, NBCUniversal says.

5. Quibi

Perhaps the quirkiest of the upcoming services is Quibi (pronounced Kwib-ee), a mobile-only, short-form streaming service from the team of film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman, formerly of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and eBay.

A press release promises Quibi will “deliver premium video content for millennials on a technology platform that is built exclusively for mobile.”

The app will feature content that is 10 minutes long or less, although some longer stories will be told in chapters. CNBC reports that the service, coming in April 2020, will have two pricing tiers, $4.99 a month with ads, and $7.99 per month for an ad-free option.

Among the Quibi options: Model Chrissy Teigen and her mother Vilailuck Teigen will have a small-claims court show called “Chrissy’s Court,” and Steven Spielberg is writing a horror show, “Spielberg’s After Dark” that can be streamed only at night.

Which of these streaming services interest you? Tell us in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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