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Comcast Is Reportedly Creating A Streaming Service For NBC Shows \/\/FREE\\\\

Few people would say the streaming TV landscape is lacking for options, but that has not stopped a seemingly endless stream of new services looking to rival Netflix and Amazon for streaming supremacy.

Comcast is reportedly creating a streaming service for NBC shows

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Comcast has also already gone down a similar path with genre-specific streaming services like Seeso, the comedy-focused subscription service that premiered in 2015. The company also already offers NBC Sports Gold, which lets users pay for streaming coverage of specific sports like rugby or cycling.

Are you ready to sign up for yet another online video streaming service? A new report claims Comcast is making plans to launch one for TV shows that are available on its NBC network, along with shows from its family of NBCUniversal cable TV channels, such as SyFy, Bravo, USA and others.

Comcast currently owns 30 percent of Hulu, which features a library of current and classic NBCUniversal shows. If the company moves forward with launching its own streaming service, it could also decide to remove current episodes of its various TV series from the outlet. If that happens, that would make its new streaming service similar to rival CBS All Access, which also offers current and older shows from its library, along with live feeds of its network, but also does not feature current episodes of its series on Hulu. Comcast has already launched Seeso, a streaming video service with both older and original comedy shows.

So why are we seeing all of these new streaming video subscription services pop up? As Bloomberg points out, traditional live TV viewing has gone down in the past few years while viewership from services like Hulu, Netflix and others keep going up. Comcast is reportedly trying to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the future, where more and more people may dump watching shows via cable TV in favor of live and on-demand streaming. The downside is that customers may not want to keep up or pay for all of the number of services that continue to launch, adding to an already crowded field of competitors.

In the old days consumers got that in one place, Vegas-buffet style. First it was over the air, then with a cable package. Eventually, they got it from the big streaming services Netflix and Hulu, which offered content from all of the studios and networks.

Disney+ is also preparing to launch an ad-supported service later this year. Paramount+ has an ad-supported tier and free ad-supported Pluto. The newly merged Discovery Warner Brothers with a combination of its streaming services expected, and Roku, with its growing ad business. CNBC's parent company NBC Universal also already offers a cheaper ad-supported subscription for its Peacock service.

The streaming wars got underway last month with the launch of Disney+, the media giant's subscription service priced at $6.99 a month, a direct competitor to Netflix. Meanwhile, AT&T's HBO Max and Comcast's Peacock are set to follow in the coming months.

According to Brian Wieser, GroupM's global president of business intelligence, streaming services will spend an extra $4 billion each a year on content, making a total of $20 billion by 2024, matching the incremental $20 billion in subscription fees GroupM estimates. GroupM is the media-buying arm of ad business WPP.

Meanwhile, Disney+ is trying to woo subscribers with a bundle that includes Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month, and HBO Max (part of AT&T-owned WarnerMedia) will cost $14.99 a month from May 2020, with the hope being that regular HBO subscribers will convert to HBO Max. In November, AppleTV launched its streaming service costing $4.99 a month.

The media industry is rapidly changing as consumers cancel their contracts with pay TV providers, known as cord-cutting. Traditional providers are having to spend vast amounts on creating new content for streaming, but the concern is that they may cannibalize their existing content in doing so.

Advertising is unlikely to contribute to revenue growth in the short-term because subscription services are often ad-free, although Comcast's Peacock is reportedly considering an ad-supported version as well as one that is paid-for.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed on Thursday that the company would begin testing an ad-supported, lower-priced subscription tier. The streaming company is speaking to multiple potential partners to help ease its entrance into the ad world, Sarandos said while speaking at the international ad festival Cannes Lions. Those partners reportedly include Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Google.

Netflix has hired Microsoft to provide the advertising technology for the streaming service's planned ad-supported tier, the companies announced Wednesday. Comcast's NBCUniversal subsidiary and Google were reportedly "top contenders" to serve ads on Netflix before Microsoft won the contract.

In turn, Comcast would bulk up its own portfolio of films and TV shows to lure more Internet and cable subscribers. It's already the nation's largest provider of cable TV and broadband Internet service and owns NBC Universal and DreamWorks Animation.

Comcast is evidently envisioning building out its own broadband-delivered service, which could expand into Europe if it succeeds in acquiring U.K.-based satellite TV and Internet provider Sky. With rights to the Olympics and soccer broadcasts including the Premier League (through Sky), Comcast could create a sports-centric streaming service, for example.

Why it matters: The acquisitions show how valuable big media companies think ad-supported streaming services could be to their overall streaming strategies, as they continue to also invest in subscription streaming offerings.

Driving the news: Fox is eyeing an acquisition of free-ad supported streaming service Tubi in a deal that could be valued at more than $500 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Comcast may be looking at the recent success Viacom has had with the free streaming service Pluto TV. Buying Xumo TV could also help Comcast as it develops its Peacock streaming service set to launch in early 2020. Peacock will reportedly have a free tier with advertising along with paid tiers. Adding in content from Xumo TV would help Comcast quickly build out its free option.

In 2019, free ad-supported streaming services became one of the fastest-growing and most talked-about parts of cord cutting. Now it seems that traditional TV companies like Viacom and Comcast have taken notice of this change.

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Bring on the bird puns! On Wednesday, Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal's streaming service, Peacock, takes flight. Initially available to a subset of Comcast cable and broadband subscribers, Peacock will reportedly spread its wings across Comcast's footprint by the end of April before expanding on July 15 to other cable company customers and web and streaming platforms.

The new service will hatch with up to 15,000 hours' worth of content. Peacock's library will include a flock of NBC favorites like Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock and Law & Order: SVU; movies from Universal Pictures and Dreamworks Animation such as Jurassic Park, E.T. and Shrek; and news segments, talk shows, original series and content from Telemundo. Peacock will also offer a selection of live sports (once those migrate back), and in 2021 will have exclusive rights to The Office.

Indeed, several of Peacock's features cater to an audience still attuned to the ways of pay-TV. That starts with offering them free access, which will nevertheless bring in streaming revenue from the ads. And, in contrast to customers who've grown used to ad-free offerings like Netflix, a cable TV audience will not likely find Peacock ads much of a deterrent to using the service. Yet perhaps neither will other potential customers, given that Peacock reportedly plans to limit ad loads to five minutes per hour, and experiment with new kinds of advertising, such as interactive ads, meant to be more user-friendly than the typical spot.

Other potential differentiating features include the numerous Peacock "channels" that will carry pre-programmed linear content aligned under certain themes (such as Saturday Night Live, NBC News, and Unsolved Mysteries); the high volume of familiar shows and movies; and the automatic playing of content upon opening the service, much like turning on the tube.

Although Peacock has reportedly locked in several 18-month advertising commitments, analysts and investors doubtlessly await clues on company plans and expectations in the April 30th first-quarter earnings call. But it may be difficult to find them. Since Peacock is not its own company, its performance will not be broken out in financial reports. And, as with many streaming providers, the numerous subsidies that boost subscriber numbers mean not every figure can be taken at face value.

If this happens, it would seem clear that the company would direct more of its original TV development energies away from NBC and towards Peacock. The story comes as next-day streaming of NBC shows prepares to shift from Hulu to Peacock next month and NBCU is expanding its live sports rights deals for both broadcast and streaming.

The Streamable helps you find the best way to stream anything. Follow our daily streaming news, in-depth reviews on streaming services & devices, and use our tools to find where your favorite content is streaming.

NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock added zero paid subscribers in the second quarter of 2022 and lost 1 million monthly active accounts (MAAs) from Q1, according to second-quarter earnings Comcast reported today. That leaves Peacock with the 13 million paid subs it reported in Q1 and 27 million MAAs. 350c69d7ab


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