NBCUniversal streaming service to launch in April 2020

Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke (Comcast)

Comcast/NBCUniversal is still holding back many important details about its upcoming streaming service, but the company did reveal that it will launch in April 2020.

Steve Burke, CEO of NBCU, said the company has more than 500 people working on the service, which will be based off Sky’s existing Now TV platform. He said he believes that NBCU has come up with a “very innovative way” of bringing its streaming service into a market crowded with incumbents like Netflix and Amazon, and new entrants like Disney, WarnerMedia and Apple.

“For competitive reasons, we believe we’ve got some ideas that are innovative and don’t really want to share those until we get close to launch. But we’re very pleased to have ‘The Office,’ and very optimistic about our streaming plans at this point,” Burke said.

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NBCU confirmed last month that it will have “The Office” on its streaming service beginning in 2021. Burke said the service will be mostly licensed content but that it will have some originals like a recently renewed “A.P. Bio.”

RELATED: Comcast loses 224,000 video subscribers in Q2

NBCU’s streaming service will be free with ads for the company’s pay TV subscribers at Comcast and Sky. For other consumers, it will be a subscription service, reportedly priced around $12 per month.

With so much focus on the NBCU streaming service, Comcast faced questions about its continued investment in its traditional video distribution business. Dave Watson, CEO of Comcast Cable, said his company will continue to market the X1 video platform in tandem with Comcast’s broadband product.

He reiterated that Comcast won’t be chasing lower value video subscribers, a strategy that likely contributed to the company losing 224,000 video subscribers in the second quarter.

Watson said that video product investment remains ongoing and that his company continues to work on integrating third-party apps into X1. He said that Hulu will be the next app to show up on Comcast’s pay TV platform.

“We’ll continue to invest where it makes sense in video,” Watson said.

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