The list of contenders in the video streaming market is about to get a little larger, as NBCUniversal has announced that they will be entering the fray. The new service will be similar to the current offering from NBC, including the ability to login with your cable or satellite subscription account and get access to the service for free. Unlike the current offering, however, non-subscribers will be able to access the service, as well. This is obviously an attempt to court the cord-cutter community, which is growing slowly, but steadily.
Details on the service are not quite solid yet, but we do know some of the important highlights. For example, the service is intended to launch in Quarter 1 of 2020, meaning that in just over a year we should have access to the updated service. The yet unnamed service will also feature both NBC shows and specials and Universal movies, according to knowledgable sources. It is unknown if there will be any original programming intended specifically for the service, but if the competition is any indication, you can expect at least some.
While not official, it is rumored that the service could run $12 per month for those who are not pay-TV customers already. This would be double the current cost of CBS All Access, which is definitely the service that NBC is trying to compete against with this new offering. CBS has seen some success with their All Access service, but they've got a couple of things going for them that NBC does not. For example, NBC offers their programming on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and the joint Hulu venture. While CBS offers some programming outside of All Access, it is far from the full catalog.
CBS is also the only major broadcaster to not be involved in Hulu. NBC's 30% ownership in that company means that they have a vested interest in not excluding their programming from that platform, which they have committed to, even with the launch of their own platform. Add to that parent company, Comcast, and their Xfinity platform, NBC is being pulled in a number of directions. Perhaps the service will offer some original content, or perhaps revive some shows that didn't work on TV but did work online, such as Timeless.
It is far too early to know for sure, but there could be some hope for this service, especially among those who have cable or satellite.