NBC streaming service to launch in 2020 with free access for pay-TV users

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 14, 2019, 3:23pm CST
NBC streaming service to launch in 2020 with free access for pay-TV users

NBCUniversal will soon launch its own streaming service, taking on CBS All Access and other established, competing video streaming destinations. The upcoming streaming service will be ad-supported, meaning viewers won’t need to pay monthly but will see advertisements. That only applies to the industry’s pay-TV customers, however — cord-cutters won’t get the same free access.

NBC revealed plans to offer the service in an announcement today, though some details are still missing. The platform will launch in Q1 2020 and include access to the network’s television shows, as well as hundreds of Universal movies, according to insiders who have spoken up.

Only pay TV customers, such as households who subscribe to DirecTV or Dish Network, will get free ad-supported access to the content. Everyone else will reportedly be required to pay a monthly subscription of $12/month — assuming that’s correct, NBC’s service will be double the cost of CBS All Access, which similarly offers TV shows and movies.

During a recent interview, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said viewers can expect to see between three and five advertisements per hours of content. In addition to the on-demand videos, NBC’s streaming service will also provide access to the livestreaming NBC channel.

Though NBC’s rumored pricing is at the higher end of streaming service fees, its free access to pay TV customers will likely prove popular with millions, giving the network an edge over companies like Hulu, which no longer has a free streaming option. The monthly subscription may be a harder sell, however, if the $12/month rate proves accurate.

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