TLC’s lineup is going to be part of the new Discovery+ streaming service, including all of 90 Day Fiance and some new exclusive spinoffs.
Some fans have a lot of questions. Others are mad. And some longtime viewers are worried that they’re about to lose their favorite shows forever.
So, what is Discovery+ exactly?
It is not, contrary to what some confused fans have assumed, some sort of premium TV channel.
It is a streaming service, just like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, DC Universe (formerly), HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and so on.
Interested fans who want to see this content from all across the Discovery “family” of content, including 90 Day Fiance, can get Discovery+ here.
The streaming service is subscription-only; it costs $4.99 per month with ads, and $6.99 per month completely commercial-free.
Like any streaming platform, it can be watched on your computer or tablet, or on any streaming device — devices like a Roku, a Playstation console, or a smart TV.
In general, when streaming services launch, they include a catalogue of past episodes and past seasons — more or less anything to which the parent company owns the rights.
That means that, barring some unforeseen licensing conflict, fans will immediately be able to view all past seasons of 90 Day Fiance, its many spinoffs, and Tell Alls.
But what will that mean for those who don’t get the streaming service, who continue to pay an arm and a leg for cable instead of an arm and a half for a multitude of streaming services?
When Discovery+ launches on January 4, 2021, viewers will have just seen 90 Day Fiance Season 8, Episode 5.
Some fans are genuinely fearful that Episode 6 will not air on TLC at all, but will air exclusively on Discovery+ where they cannot watch it.
Are they right to worry that they’re about to lose their favorite show?
In a word: no. Watching most parts of the franchise will be more convenient with Discovery+ … but no, they’re not going to lose the actual shows.
Though it is clear that Pillowtalk and perhaps The Other Way‘s mysteriously unaired Tell All special aren’t airing on TLC, the rest of currently running series are not following suit.
Why? Because that’s not how this works.
Pillowtalk has always been bonus content, compared by some to the Untucked episodes that followed RuPaul’s Drag Race.
A few years ago, Untucked moved from airing on cable television to airing exclusively online — even though the after-show segment contained some of the show’s most historic, eye-catching scenes.
Sometimes, aftershows and bonus content get moved to online-only to encourage viewers to use a more lucrative platform, or simply to free up time slots on the network.
But there is no reason whatsoever to believe that TLC will stop airing new seasons of 90 Day Fiance, including spinoffs like Before The 90 Days, The Other Way, and Happily Ever After?
They don’t want to lose viewers — and this franchise is one of the most popular on the planet, and has consistently received ratings in recent years trouncing more established reality series.
The goal is to attract current viewers to a streaming platform, plus new viewers who haven’t had cable for years but would love to watch the series on streaming.
Discovery+ will be home to new original 90 Day Fiance content that will likely never air on cable.
(Never say never, though — notably, some of DC Universe’s once-exclusive programming has since gone on to air on The CW, and the niche service was so successful that it accellerated plans for HBO Max)
RIght now, the most hotly anticipated streaming exclusive on the new network is unquestionably 90 Day Bares All, hosted by Shaun Robinson. The 90 Day Bares All cast has already leaked.
Given the target demographics of the shows and other factors, including worries of streaming fatigue, some analysts are unsure if Discovery+ will be a success.
It is, among other things, a US-only streaming service — at least for now.
However, Discovery expects to net as many as 10 million subscribers — a hefty grab, but modest compared to the colossal subscriber numbers of platforms like Disney+ and Netflix. Only time will tell.
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