NBCUniversal, owned by the cheapest cable packages’ provider Comcast®, has announced that it will be rolling out a streaming service in early 2020 and that it is shuffling some of its main executives’ responsibilities. The service will be led by NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer, who has been promoted to its Chairman of Direct to Consumer and Digital Enterprises. Mark Lazarus has been named the Chairman of NBCUniversal Broadcast, Sports, Cable, and News, while Jeff Shell has been named the Chairman of NBCUniversal Film and NBCUniversal Entertainment, adding the latter to his purview.
NBCUniversal said that the forthcoming streaming service of the company would draw on its content library as well as technology from Comcast® and Sky plc. Note that last year, the cheapest cable TV plans’ provider acquired the broadcaster named Sky plc. The advertisement-supported streaming service will be available to pay-TV customers of NBCU in the US and main international markets at no cost.
Comcast Cable® and Sky plc will offer the streaming service for free to their fifty-two million customers. An advertisement-free version of it will be available to customers for a fee. Non-pay TV customers will be able to purchase the service too.
NBCUniversal also said that it would carry on licensing content to other platforms and studios, while keeping rights to certain titles for the upcoming service. The company is getting into the content streaming industry at a time when conventional cable TV providers are losing customers. It will face competition from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, and new services planned by WarnerMedia of AT&T® and the Walt Disney Company.
“NBCUniversal has some of the world’s most valuable intellectual property and top talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Many of the most-watched shows on today’s popular streaming platforms come from NBCUniversal,” Steve Burke, the CEO of NBCUniversal, said. “Our new service will be different than those presently in the market and it will be built on the company’s strengths, with NBCUniversal’s great content and the technology expertise, broad scale and the wide distribution of Comcast Cable® and Sky.”
Burke added, “People are watching premium content more than ever, but they want more flexibility and value. NBCUniversal is perfectly positioned to offer a variety of choices, due to our deep relationships with advertisers and distribution partners, as well as our data-targeting capabilities. Advertising continues to be a major part of the entertainment ecosystem and we believe that a streaming service, with limited and personalized ads, will provide a great consumer experience.”