Paramount Global’s free streaming outlet Pluto TV has launched channels dedicated to syndication mainstays Judge Judy and Let’s Make a Deal and plans to debut Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! channels on August 1.
The moves are part of a broader reorganization and expansion of the programming categories offered by Pluto, with five new ones bringing the total to 18. Game shows, reality and daytime TV series “have shown to be incredibly popular” with viewers, Pluto said in a press release. Thus, the expanded offerings in those areas.
Pluto, which launched in 2013, was an early innovator in streaming with its cable-like on-screen channel guide and emphasis on linear programming. Rivals leaned more toward on-demand fare, though many have added linear offerings in recent years.
Paramount’s distribution arm has long handled the traditional linear carriage of a number of top-rated syndicated shows, and is now looking to leverage that position in streaming. Judge Judy Sheindlin recently pulled up stakes after 25 years with CBS (now part of Paramount Global) and started a new daily series, Judy Justice, on Amazon’s Freevee. Sheindlin and CBS also prevailed last March in a multi-year legal tussle over syndication rights to Judge Judy.
Pluto has more than 68 million monthly active users and streams more than 1,000 channels around the world, both live and on demand. Its library includes 43,000 titles. Acquired by Viacom in 2019 for $340 million, Pluto has become a major growth engine for Paramount, surpassing $1 billion in annual revenue last summer, a year ahead of schedule.
“We are always looking for ways to improve our programming offering and make it easier for the audience to find what they are looking for. Not only is this expansion driven by viewing habits we can see, we spoke directly to our audience to gain feedback on suggested changes before they were made,” Pluto TV SVP of Programming Scott Reich said in a press release. “Everything we do puts the audience first and this optimization is the latest step to maintain our market leadership in partnership with our audience.”
The full roster of categories includes Movies, Entertainment, News + Opinion, Crime, Reality, Game Shows, Daytime TV, Comedy, Classic TV, Home, Food, Lifestyle + Culture, Sports, Gaming + Anime, Music, En Español, Kids, and Local.
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