NBC is expanding its streaming video efforts with a new service for reality TV fans, but only outside the United States.
Hayu will include full episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians (and its spin-offs), The Real Housewives, Million Dollar Listing, Top Chef, I Am Cait, Made in Chelsea, Flipping Out, Shahs of Sunset, and The Millionaire Matchmaker, among others. The service will kick off with more than 3,000 episodes, and promises an additional 500 episodes per year, all arriving on the same day as their U.S. telecasts.
For all this, NBC will charge 4 pounds per month in the United Kingdom, 5 Euros per month in Ireland, and 5.99 dollars in Australia, all with a free one-month trial when Hayu launches next month. Apps will be available for phones, tablets, and connected TV devices, though NBC hasn’t revealed any specific platforms.
Hayu is NBC’s second niche streaming service that is separate from any traditional TV channels. It follows last month’s launch of SeeSo, a $4 per month service for diehard comedy fans. But unlike SeeSo, which for now is only available in the United States, NBC hasn’t even mentioned the possibility of bringing Hayu stateside.
One possible explanation: Hayu relies heavily on shows from existing NBCUniversal-owned cable networks such as E! and Bravo. SeeSo has some late-night content from NBC, but most of the other video is either older licensed content, or new shows produced exclusively for the streaming service. NBC—and its corporate parents at Comcast—may be unwilling or unable to dip into cable channels for new streaming services in the United States.
Why this matters: Although Hayu may never become available in the United States, it’s still an example of how NBC is creating new streaming services around specific interests. The company has said it’s developing a half-dozen of these services beyond SeeSo, as the concept of smaller, niche “channels’ could become a big part of the cord cutting experience down the road.