NBCUniversal to Launch Standalone Streaming TV Service in 2020

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Comcast's NBCUniversal is planning to launch its own ad-supported streaming television service in the first quarter of 2020, the company announced today.

The upcoming service will be available for free to anyone that subscribes to a traditional pay-TV service, including TV service from Comcast and its competitors, like Charter, AT&T, Cox, and Dish.


Customers that do not subscribe to a paid television service will need to pay a fee that's right around $12 per month to access NBC content.

Content will include 1,500 hours of NBC TV shows, like "Saturday Night Live" and "Parks and Recreation, hundreds of hours of Universal movies, and live TV-like news and sports. NBC plans to air between three to five minutes of ads per hour of programming, with the aim to make $5 per month for every user on advertising alone.
"One of the interesting things about this that makes it different and innovative is that we'll have a big emphasis on free-to-consumer," Burke said. "We want to create a platform that has significant scale and can scale quickly. The best way to do that, is make it free to consumers and leverage the fact that NBCUniversal's sister company is a cable company and now owns Sky."
NBC still needs to sign deals with other pay-TV providers, something that it hasn't yet accomplished. Since it will be free for subscribers, though, NBC doesn't foresee issues with negotiations.

Though NBC is planning its own streaming service, the company says it will not be "aggressively" pulling back shows and movies it has licensed to other streaming services.

Article Link: NBCUniversal to Launch Standalone Streaming TV Service in 2020
 

brendu

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Apr 23, 2009
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It will be interesting to see who succeeds and who fails with these new subscribe to all the networks apps scheme. I have Netflix, Hulu, and rotate between stars/showtime/hbo theoughout the year. I already want to cut that down. At a certain point people will have to pick and some of these networks are going to realize most of their crap isn’t gonna cut it. NBC has plenty of goods to stay afloat but many other networks won’t.

I’m thinking this summer I’m gonna cancel all of them and go antenna only for minimal tv.
 

jdawgnoonan

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Apr 22, 2007
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Any show with ads is automatically something I’m not willing to pay to watch. I do not miss the major networks content, and I would rather give up watching TV altogether as subject myself to ads. I will never pay for ad supported content ever.

Also: Letting cable subscribers access the content with no additional fee is not the same thing as “Free”.
 
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AlumaMac

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Jan 25, 2018
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Hmm. Subscribing to 15 different streaming services is beginning to make cable look cheap.
Yep. They'll eventually herd most of us back to cable based on price. It's getting harder to justify paying $75 for just internet when they offer internet (at a higher tier) and cable for $99.
 
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MacManiac1

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Sep 7, 2017
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This isn’t coming out until next year. I understand the license agreements may take some time, but why so long? CBS has their app up and running for sometime now. I do pay for that one since it has a lot of old programs I like, and it was worth the $3 or $4 more to never have to watch commercials.

I agree though that I don’t want to pay for a bunch of these apps. Soon it will make cable look cheap and easier to do!
 

GrumpyMom

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Sep 11, 2014
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I’m just watching Downton Abbey on Amazon Prime on my iPhone. I’m almost afraid of getting hooked on tv again like I was when I was a kid and teenager. I prefer reading ebooks but now Amazon is trying to get customers to subscribe to books, too. :rolleyes:

Time to dig out my library card. :p
 

RadioHedgeFund

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Sep 11, 2018
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All this does is play into Netflix’s hands.

All these pithy streaming services remain USA only leaving Netflix to pick up the cream of the crop for international viewing.

Here in the UK my £6/m Netflix sub includes Titans and Star Trek: Discovery without the need for any extras.
 

TheRealTVGuy

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Jul 21, 2010
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The problem is we no longer have Steve Jobs to bull horn the networks/channels into offering their apps for $.99/month.

We all became spoiled with how the iTunes Music Store changed buying music and were hoping that same magic would come to TV. It was great for consumers but a bitter pill to swallow for the recording industry.

The problem is, those in the television and motion picture industries saw what happened and vowed not to suffer the same fate as the recording industry. And we don’t have an uber-popular platform like Napster eating their lunch and forcing them to the negotiating table.
 
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Metatron

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Jul 2, 2002
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First of all, screw this new subscription for everything trend. Second of all, if The Office gets taken off of Netflix because of this, I will riot.
Agreed on the subscriptions for everything statement. This is complete BS as they are not going to keep their content elsewhere because it will make this venture less successful; so prepare for the slow withdrawal of content.

I’ll keep prime because I literally buy stuff from amazon daily and use the shipping. Netflix has maybe 3 shows I like but they long ago stopped being useful when they pushed for their own content and stopped paying for rights to grade A titles/shows. I am grandfathered into the $35 direct tv now price, but I use it so little I am not sure why I have it...not to mention the $35 is now $40ish as they raised the price.

I have an antenna and use the channels app. It’s 90% of what I watch and it cost $8 a month for the DVR service. HDHomeRun has a premium tv service that can record to channels DVR as well. I gave that a quick try, but they are still working to improve the quality of the streams (not yet worth it).

I really want to see the new Star Trek, but I refuse the pay CBS for their streaming service. My fear is others will follow in CBS footsteps as start releasing exclusive context for their streaming services and eventually having an antenna will have no value either.

It’s going to be a crappy next few years as every major channel will demand $15 for its content. Cable will again become cheaper and people will revert to cable again. Networks will raise prices which will be passed on to us. Rinse and repeat.

Apple is not immune either. Their venture to make original content is so incredibly stupid. It may help their bottom line, but it is only going to create more fragmentation and cost for us the consumers. Apple should have bought T-Mobile and Netflix years ago and forced service providers down the same path as they did with music. Alas, Steve is gone.
 

Laird Knox

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Jun 18, 2010
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Customers that do not subscribe to a paid television service will need to pay a fee that's right around $12 per month to access NBC content.
"One of the interesting things about this that makes it different and innovative is that we'll have a big emphasis on free-to-consumer," Burke said.
Uh...

I'm no PHD but I seem to have a different definition for "free-to-customer."
 
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nutmac

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Mar 30, 2004
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I don’t watch tv.....nbc (nobody cares)
Aside from The Blacklist, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Good Place, very weak offering, much weaker overall than CBS All Access, which at least can leverage Star Trek.

I don't see much self subscribing to NBC except during the Olympics. NBC, you can take my $12 every 2 years.
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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Hmm. Subscribing to 15 different streaming services is beginning to make cable look cheap.
I agree though that I don’t want to pay for a bunch of these apps. Soon it will make cable look cheap and easier to do!
I see comments like this every time a new subscription deal comes out, and I really don't get it. You don't have to subscribe to every service, and you don't have to stay subscribed to any service.

Unlike cable, you don't have to subscribe to the content all the time. You can subscribe for a month or two, catch up on content, then easily cancel your sub. This could usually be done in a few seconds via an app or website. Cable makes it much harder to cancel, and is usually tied to your ISP which makes it even harder cancel the TV service.

Everyone said they wanted to be able to choose their content... instead of being locked into dreaded bundles.
While I don't think it is perfect, I much rather have subscriptions to stuff I want, when I want it, rather than subscribing to a traditional cable TV service, renting out of date hardware, using UI that looks like it was made in the 90's, paying for a bunch of extra fees on top of the sub fee, and not being able to easily cancel when I want.

NBC, you can take my $12 every 2 years.
Exactly.....

If NBC has only 1 months a content every two years that is worth the $12, then that is what they will get from me too.

People think that they need to pay for a NBC sub every month, while complaining about the lack of content, but they can cancel as soon as the content runs out....

Yep. They'll eventually herd most of us back to cable based on price. It's getting harder to justify paying $75 for just internet when they offer internet (at a higher tier) and cable for $99.
This has a lot to do with lack of choices for ISPs here in the US.

I am lucky and have a choice of Comcast and FiOS.

I don't pay anywhere near that price for internet, right now, I pay $30 for a 60 Mbps download service from Comcast. The rates are going up in March, and if they won't keep them below $40, I will go back to FiOS with their $40 100 Mbps download service.

Sadly, there are many people out there that are at the mercy of just one ISP at there location, where the ISP could have horrible service, ever-increasing prices, and super high rental fees, and there isn't much the customer could do about it.
 

pat500000

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Jun 3, 2015
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Aside from The Blacklist, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Good Place, very weak offering, much weaker overall than CBS All Access, which at least can leverage Star Trek.

I don't see much self subscribing to NBC except during the Olympics. NBC, you can take my $12 every 2 years.
Yeah. I hate this subscription thing.
 

David G.

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Apr 10, 2007
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Alaska
Have any of you checked out your local libraries for movies or tv shows? Between my local municipal library and the local college library which local library card holders have access to, there’re a huge selection of DVD’s and Blu-ray’s to choose from. If it isn’t at either of those two I can usually acquire anything but the very most obscure movie or TV show with an ILL from any library in the state.
 

iRutherford

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Oct 30, 2018
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I'm waiting for Apple to solve this “subscribe to everything” trend that's been going on for years. I can't wait for Apple TV and Texture to drop, and offer a be-all, end-all bundle solution with Apple Music! Couple that with the free Apple News app, then I don't think I would need to subscribe to anything else.
 
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CarlJ

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Feb 23, 2004
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At this rate, with all these separate streaming services, looks I'll be sailing the high seas once again
Translation: "If I don't like the price, I feel totally justified in committing theft - because watching these shows is my right". How nice. You could also just not watch if you don't like the price - if enough do that, then the prices will adjust.
 
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