NeighborhoodTV, Cox Media Group’s foray into ultra-local streaming news, is joining Xumo Play’s FAST lineup.
CMG officially launched NeighborhoodTV in August as both its own free ad-supported streaming local news service and FAST channel. Cox pegs NeighborhoodTV as an extension of the company’s linear TV business, as a way to reach consumers that are turning to streaming in addition to traditional TV and cable.
Xumo Play is the FAST service element of Comcast and Charter’s broader Xumo joint venture. It offers hundreds of ad-supported linear channels and on-demand content, with the app available on major streaming platforms and incorporated into the newly launched Xumo Stream Box device – the latter which is also being licensed to other U.S. operators.
NTV’s local programming currently covers 70 neighborhoods in Atlanta and 30 in Charlotte, serving local news at a neighborhood level (with neighborhood defined by CMG as a cluster of zip codes or towns within and adjacent to each local DMA). Beta tests in Atlanta and Charlotte have the service generating more than 100 million impressions monthly. The company said “hundreds more neighborhoods across the country” are expected to be added soon. CMG previously told StreamTV Insider there are plans to launch the service in Orlando in Q4, with an expansion into the Southeast that is ultimately targeting up to 5,000 neighborhoods across the U.S.
Cox Media Group also operates several local broadcast channels and as part of the partnership with Xumo is teeing up a cross-company marketing program to drum up adoption of the channel, starting in Atlanta. The marketing program will be supported by a cross-platform ad campaign that includes NTV “tune-in” commercials across CMG’s local broadcast channels.
“We are pleased to bring these two trailblazers together, making it seamless for viewers to access the programming they want, and for advertisers to maximize their local reach,” said Steve Pruett, CMG executive chairman, in a statement. “And, through cross-company marketing efforts, we are leveraging our core CMG brands so that our linear airtime commercials for Neighborhood TV will support the further adoption of the new FAST channel on Xumo Play.”
For Xumo it also means more news programming on the FAST, a category that has seen traction on FAST platforms.
“Live news, whether national or local, has always been a top performing genre of programming on Xumo Play,” said Stefan Van Engen, VP of Content Acquisition at Xumo Play, in a statement. “Neighborhood TV’s hyper-local community coverage will be a great complement to our growing lineup of local and national channels, offering our customers more ways to get the news they care about most.”
NTV is produced by reporters who are local to the community, covering key topics such as local government, impacts of extreme weather or other events, new restaurants and nightlife, local sports events, community heroes and local cultural events.
CMG has also pointed to NTV as an opportunity for local advertisers who have struggled to find ways to reach audiences in a challenged market. At the time of the launch in August, NTV said many local advertisers “have been priced out of the local TV market, and newspapers have all but disappeared.”
At that time a CMG spokesperson confirmed to StreamTV Insider that NTV offers local ad avails on streaming and that through Cox Media, locality and other demand sources, can deliver specific neighborhoods to advertisers.
In addition to Xumo Play, NTV can be found on its website via desktop and mobile, and through CTV apps on major streaming platforms. It’s also available on Allen Media Group’s local news-focused FAST, Local Now, as well as Distro TV and Streamium.