The big cable bundle is continuing to crumble, as NBCUniversal ponders a standalone streaming video service for comedy fans.
NBC could charge between $2.50 and $3.50 per month for the service, the Wall Street Journal reports. In addition to full episodes from shows like Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show, the service could include original scripted shows, unscripted shows, and sketch comedy drawing on NBC’s existing TV stars. Library programming from other networks could also help round out the streaming service.
NBC already streams many of its shows online. Recent episodes appear on the network’s website and mobile apps, as well as on Hulu, while past seasons have gone to Netflix and Amazon Prime. According to the Journal, the new service may end up getting first dibs on recent episodes. The addition of original series and off-network content might also help the service stand out.
Beyond comedy, NBC has considered other genre-specific streaming services, such as a horror offering with video from the network’s Chiller cable channel. However, the comedy service is the furthest along in development.
There’s no word on when the service might launch, and NBC hasn’t made it official, but it’s reportedly on track for later this year.
The story behind the story: NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast, so it’s not like the cable giant is actively trying to undermine its TV business. Still, the reality is that cable TV subscriptions are stagnating, while the options for going cable-free are proliferating through services like Sling TV. When even Comcast realizes it’s leaving money on the table, you know cord cutting has reached a tipping point .