As people hunker down at home during the coronavirus pandemic, content providers are offering free trial periods and other perks as they seek to draw in viewers.
Showtime is offering free 30-day trials for new customers who sign up before May 3. Viewers will have access to original series such as Ray Donovan, Shameless, The L Word: Generation Q and Homeland, which is currently airing its final season through April 26. Those who stick with the network will be treated to the season five premiere of Billons, which launches on May 3.
Meanwhile, AMC-owned networks AcornTV, Sundance Now, and Shudder are extending their free-trial periods from seven days to 30. That will allow viewers to stream horror classics such as Night of the Living Dead on Shudder; British detective drama Midsomer Murders on Acorn TV; Playing for Keeps on Sundance Now and more.
On the streaming front, Hulu has announced a partnership with ABC News Live to bring the news channel’s 24/7 coverage to the streamer’s on-demand subscribers. Hulu says more than 45 percent of its subscribers have cut the cord or never had cable; therefore, its goal is to provide critical information to its subscribers during “times of national crisis.”
“With this live stream, we aim to keep our viewers informed during this unprecedented time when having access to information is vital to our communities,” Hulu said. It’ll also be accessible to Hulu’s ad-supported and Hulu (No Ads) subscribers by visiting the “Hulu Picks” collection.
With live sports on hold, professional leagues are reviving old games for fans to rewatch for free. The NBA, which abruptly suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus, is offering complimentary access to its direct-to-consumer streaming service, NBA League Pass, until April 22.
Although the NFL is currently in its offseason and remains mostly unaffected by the pandemic, the league announced that NFL Game Pass will be free in the U.S. until May 31 and internationally until July 31.
The NHL is also making all games played during the 2019-2020 season available to stream on its website, mobile app and social channels to get fans through the sports break.
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