If one thing’s for certain about the current media landscape, it’s that there just aren’t enough different subscription streaming video services all competing for the consumer dollar. Or at least that’s what most content providers seem to think nowadays, with a continuing onslaught of new streaming services and/or over-the-top cable-style skinny bundles announced on a seemingly constant basis.
The biggest player in the subscription streaming game is still no doubt Netflix, which makes sense, as they’ve been the first to implement many now-common aspects of the streaming puzzle. Coming in close behind — at least in the U.S. — are competitors Amazon Prime and Hulu, which continue to gain ground each year. In contrast to those services that offer users content licensed from all kinds of different companies, the last couple of years have seen the emergence of multiple services that serve up only content from a specific channels or libraries. These include the popular HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, and the still growing CBS All Access.
According to a new report by Bloomberg, the latest media giant to throw its hat into the subscription video ring will be NBC Universal, or more accurately, their parent company Comcast. While neither Comcast or NBCU has offered an official comment on the report as of yet, Bloomberg asserts that Comcast is planning to launch an NBCU-specific service that would feature content from NBC’s broadcast network, along with related cable channels like USA, Syfy, and Bravo. The entire line-up of included content — as well as whether live streams of said channels would also be included — is said to be presently undecided.
Also reportedly undecided is whether this potential NBCU streaming service would include access to live sports. As anyone who pays even minimal attention to the streaming side of the TV business will know, sports broadcasts often prove to be a sticking point when live televised content makes the move online.
Before anyone gets too excited, though, those interested should be aware that if Comcast does indeed go forward with a standalone NBCU streaming service, it likely won’t happen for quite some time. As part of getting governmental approval for its acquisition of NBCU back in 2011, Comcast had to agree to certain conditions, some of which would make it very difficult to launch a service comprised entirely of content the company itself owns. The restrictions in question expire in September 2018.
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