NBC initially launched its direct-to-consumer service NBC News Signal in October 2018 on an experimental basis. But now, NBC has rebranded the OTT service as NBC News Now and plans to relaunch it in early May.
The OTT service will be supported by advertising and will be free to consumers, whether they subscribe to NBCU-owned cable networks or not.
NBC News President Noah Oppenheim announced the news Monday at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. He said NBC News Now will initially provide eight hours of programming per day with live updates at the top of every hour in addition to breaking news, when that happens.
The company plans to expand to 24/7 news coverage over the coming months. Oppenheim said the service would be a way for people who don’t have cable TV to access the top news of the day via streaming video.
“It will be something you can access on Apple TV or Roku or any of those other boxes,” said Oppenheim, according to a report in Variety. The service won’t just regurgitate news gathered for NBC’s broadcasting and cable networks. It will also include original reporting specific for the streaming video audience.
When NBC News Signal launched in late 2018, Nick Ascheim, senior vice president of digital at NBC News Group, said, “There is a growing segment of people who have never had a cable subscription, but who are just as hungry for smart news as the prior generations of news watchers who have consumed NBC News for decades. These consumers—who are up to date on the headlines but are seeking a deeper understanding of the news of the moment—are increasingly turning to OTT devices for ‘lean back’ news consumption or an on-the-go informative experience, and that’s exactly what NBC News Signal will deliver.”