Forget Bop-Its and Beanie Babies, the latest craze taking over the nation is launching your own streaming platform. Back in January, NBCUniversal announced it would be launching its own streaming platform. According to Variety, NBC has plans to launch a Netflix competitor that will bring together NBC shows, news, live TV, and movies old and new.
The trend towards launching a streaming platform is becoming more and more common these days as the landscape of television shifts. With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO all currently at the top of the heap, NBC joins other huge companies like WarnerMedia and Disney in creating specialized platforms that serve as the hub for all film and television created under their respective umbrellas. NBC CEO Steve Burke told Variety, “we’re going to unite the whole company behind it,” adding “We want to build a platform that has lots and lots of people using it, so we can start to make money with advertising.”
In June, NBC made its first platform-related announcement: beloved workplace comedy The Office, which aired on NBC from 2008 to 2013, would be moving from Netflix to the platform in 2021. It will be a huge move, requiring lots of money to be spent for NBC to break its agreement with Netflix for the sake of one show. But it’s also proof NBC is deadly serious about its new venture.
Here’s what else you can expect from NBCUniversal’s forthcoming streaming platform, from the release date to how much it will cost to what other shows the company plans to offer.
Does NBC’s Streaming Service Have a Fun Name Yet?
Unlike “Disney+” or the now-iconic portmanteau “Netflix,” there’s been no mention if NBCUniversal’s streaming service will have a fun, easy-to-pronounce name. That’ll likely be announced a little further down the lines as the project coalesces even more. May we suggest: Anything but “NBC+”
What’s the Release Date For NBC’s Streaming Service?
As of June 2019, NBCUniversal has plans to launch its streaming service mid-2020. Per Variety’s January report, NBC has plans to have the launch coincide with the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo to, according to NBCU CEO Steve Burke, “put a lot of afterburners on this service,” ostensibly as a way to get folks keen to watch on the new platform.
How Much Will It Cost to Subscribe to NBC’s Streaming Service?
That’s the big question, right? What’s important to know up from is that, unlike other streaming platforms, NBCUniversal’s platform will not be subscription-based; instead, it will be ad-supported, meaning it will be free to those folks who haven’t cut the cord and still have regular TV access and it could cost what is now a standard streaming platform price of $10 give or take per month, according to CNBC. That price point may change as development progresses, especially since the streaming platform standard falls anywhere between $12 and $14.
What Shows Are Going to Be Featured on NBC’s Streaming Service?
Right now, NBC shows are spread across a ton of streaming platforms and actual channels. If you just consider NBC in TV form, the company is not just its own network but a variety of channels including Bravo, E!, SYFY, USA Network, Oxygen, Telemundo, and CNBC. Not only can those with a cable subscription log onto any NBC-owned channel’s website and watch episodes for free right now, but NBC has struck deals with streaming platforms Hulu and Netflix to air NBC shows. That includes hit shows like the aforementioned The Office, Frasier, Friends, the newly-acquired comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place, This Is Us, every Chicago-based crime, medical, or fire procedural, and on and on it goes.
We know NBCUniversal is paying a reported $500 million to break its contract with Netflix and have The Office leave the platform early so it can move to the new streaming platform. There have been no official announcements yet, but NBCUniversal may continue to break contracts with Netflix and Hulu for its popular shows so NBC can get them back and put them up exclusively on their platform. Will
Okay, So Is NBCUniversal Gonna Consolidate All the Current Ways to Watch Their Shows?
It feels like a natural progression to remove the option to watch new episodes of shows from channels like Bravo and E! on their respective, individual company sites and push any and all NBCUniversal content to the new platform. However, this is unconfirmed and it’s hard to get a read on where NBC’s head is at on that note.
Does NBC Have Plans to Release Original Programming on Its Streaming Service?
No announcements have been made about whether or not NBCUniversal is going to cash in on creating original programming which will only be available on its platform. This would arguably make it a more competitive streaming service by offering must-see shows through one lone medium, but, for now, it’s just an idea that exists out in the ether.