NBC News streaming service Signal planning mid-2019 launch

NBC News has named its rumored streaming news network Signal. (NBC News)

NBC News today gave the name Signal to its upcoming 24-hour streaming news service, which will feature all original content aimed toward younger audiences.

The official announcement confirmed reports from earlier this year that NBC News was planning a streaming network, although the mid-2019 launch is later than the late-2018 launch that was originally reported.

Although Signal has yet to launch with its full slate of original programming, the network is currently up and running in an early, scaled down iteration. Right now, Signal is available on NBCNews.com, in the NBC News mobile and OTT apps, on PlutoTV and via YouTube and Twitter.

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Signal’s evening show, hosted by Simone Boyce, currently airs on Thursdays but will shift to a Monday-through-Friday schedule beginning in early 2019. Steve Kornacki and Katy Tur are also hosting daily shows on the network.

“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,” said Nick Ascheim, senior vice president of digital at NBC News Group, in a statement. “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.”

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“People love to stay informed and constantly up-to-date and we’re seeing increased demand from advertisers wanting to connect with this passionate and engaged audience,” said Trevor Fellows, executive vice president for NBCUniversal digital sales and partnerships, in a statement. “NBC News Signal is a strong complement to the full portfolio of options, including Stay Tuned on Snapchat, Apple News, plus our owned properties including TODAY, NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC.”

Signal will be a free, ad-supported streaming service. Segments currently available on Signal’s website include preroll ads.

By launching a 24/7 streaming news network, NBC News is jumping into competition with CBS News and Fox News. Ad-supported CBSN has been up and running for years now and Fox News' upcoming subscription streaming service Fox Nation is launching later this year.