NBCU tipped in standalone comedy subscription service effort

For the longest time, cord-cutting (getting rid of cable) meant jumping through a lot of hoops and possibly resorting to less than kosher methods for getting one's entertainment fix. Networks have been slow to embrace technological changes, but now that consumers have moved in such a great mass toward the technology most convenient to them (mobile devices, primarily), some daring companies have decided to cater to them, and now the ball has begun rolling. Latest to contemplate launching a standalone subscription video service is NBCUniversal.

Perhaps the biggest milestone at this point is Dish Network's launch of Sling TV (read our review), an Internet-based live television service that costs $20 per month and has been regularly adding new channels to its core subscription plan (as well as offering $5 add-on packages). This gives subscribers more freedom over how they watch their entertainment, and it has proven successful thus far.

Following Sling TV's announcement, we saw some networks move to reveal plans for possibly launching their own standalone subscription services, with Viacom being one of the more surprising ones. While that potential option would cater to children, NBCUniversal's tipped plans would see adults getting their comedy fix via Internet streaming.

The information comes from The Wall Street Journal, which reports that "people familiar with the plans" have tipped the effort. The subscription video service would launch later on this year, according to the sources, and would be focused on comedy. If it does launch, we'll probably be seeing NBC shows on it, likely among them being The Tonight Show and SNL. According to sources, there could also be original shows created for the service, as well. Different prices might be offered, and one of them could range from $2.50 to $3.50/month. NBCU has also reportedly looked into similar services for different genres (horror, as an example).

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal