NBC announces streaming service — but it will be a bit different than others

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NBC will launch a streaming service in 2020, the network has announced.

  • The yet-to-be-named service will reportedly be free to existing cable subscribers, which would be a key differentiator from other paid subscription streaming services.
  • Cable subscribers will reportedly still see advertising content.
  • According to reports, the subscribers can pay extra to remove commercials — and the service will also be offered as a standalone subscription option.
  • The service is distinct and separate from NBC News Signal, a news-oriented streaming service NBC News is planning to launch later in 2019.
  • NBC still planning to maintain its 30 percent stake in streaming service Hulu and also plans to continue licensing most of its content to other providers.
  • The move from NBC comes as Disney, which owns ABC, prepares to launch Disney+, a paid subscription streaming service, later in 2019.
  • ABC content will not be part of Disney+, however, according to the most recently announced plans.
  • Disney already operates ESPN+, a sports focused service.
  • Disney+ is planned as a family-friendly streaming offering, with content culled from across Disney and ABC properties.
  • Meanwhile, Disney will reportedly still keep edgier, more adult focused content on Hulu.
  • After it completes the acquisition of select 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will own the controlling share in Hulu.
  • CBS, meanwhile, owns CBSN, a news streaming service. A local version os CBSN is available in New York, with expansion into more markets planned.
  • CBS also runs CBS All Access, a paid service that offers both limited and advertising free tiers with access to CBS’s archive of content as well as exclusive programming.
  • NBC News Signal is slated to contain content from both the network news division and MSNBC.
  • Fox News launched its subscription streaming service, Fox Nation, last year, which offers exclusive content as well as delayed audio of Fox News programming.