NBC Launches Live-Stream Broadcasts On the Web, But Only for Pay-TV Subscribers

The Voice Ratings

NBC is now providing access to live broadcast feeds over the Internet — but only if viewers already subscribe to a cable or satellite TV provider that has a deal with the Comcast-owned programming group, and only if they happen to be in the right part of the U.S.

Initially, NBC’s authenticated 24-hour live-streaming feeds are available via the Peacock’s 10 owned stations, which include those in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth and the San Francisco Bay Area. NBCU said it is “working with its TV affiliates to offer additional local launches moving forward.”

ABC has launched a similar authenticated service for access to live TV in select markets, on the web and via mobile devices. CBS, meanwhile, this fall introduced a $5.99-per-month subscription service, All Access, that includes livestreaming in 14 U.S. markets.

For NBC, in the present markets, the live TV streams are available to customers of Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems’ Optimum TV and others. The livestreams for now are available only on the web; NBC said it expects to launch the service on mobile platforms in early 2015.

The live video feeds include all of NBC’s programming, including local news; “Sunday Night Football”; primetime series like “The Voice” (pictured, above) and “State of Affairs”; and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Also Tuesday, NBCUniversal announced the launch of a TV Everywhere marketing campaign across its 14 cable networks. The campaign, with the tagline “Watch TV Without the TV,” will run on TV and outdoor media from Dec. 26, 2014, through Jan. 1, 2015. The campaign is aimed at highlighting NBCU brands and apps, including: E! Now; USA Now; NBC Entertainment; NBC News; Bravo Now; CNBC; Esquire Now; Golf Live Extra; MSNBC; NBC Sports Live Extra; Oxygen Now; Sprout Now; Syfy Now; and Telemundo Now.

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  1. Jacques Strappe says:

    I’ve been watching ABC live content on the internet for well over a year now through my Comcast cable contract. I will be ditching cable television altogether next month but still forced to use Comcast for the internet due to zero competition where I live.

  2. Consumers are the ones getting the shaft on this. Well and good if you are one of the people who already pay for it. This post isn’t about those people. In fact, I will say for those who subscribe to cable, if NBC wants to provide a live stream to those customers over the internet, bless them. (Seriously!).

    BUT take my situation with NBC Sports Network. I’m a fan of the English Premier League. I have some options when it comes to being able to watch the matches. I could subscribe to cable and watch on the television or online as long as I pay that cable bill. I could find a pirate stream of shady quality to watch (and I even stick around for the ads, too). Or I could not watch them. Those are my three options. Why am I only limited to those three options? I’d gladly ditch my cable subscription and pay NBC directly for the ability to watch the matches on their website. I’d pay them as much as $30 a month. I promise you that NBC isn’t getting $30 a month from my cable provider.

    I’m frustrated. I pay for lets say about 120 channels. I watch about 5, and 4 of those are only because they’re there. Yet I’m forced to pay for all these channels to watch 1 channel. I don’t entirely blame NBC here. There’s a fundamental conflict of interest between my ISP and my cable TV service. Unfortunately, my ISP has ZERO interest in competing with my cable TV service because they are the same exact company. Certainly there’s some pressure on NBC from the cable industry or at least some mutual back scratching.

    I’m not complaining. I do have an overall positive opinion about my ISP. Not perfect, but overall positive. Likewise with my cable service (ignoring the huge waste of channels), my cable service is pretty decent. And NBC Sports Network (ignoring the lack of direct subscription online access) has presented the English Premier League EXTREMELY well. And the website streaming is excellent, they do great work. What frustrates me is the all or nothing choice I as a consumer I have to face. It doesn’t have to be this way.

  3. Mike says:

    Dish customers have had the ability to watch any live channel on any device anywhere for a while now. It’s sad that this moves the needle.

    • ted says:

      Where you been? This has been the main complaint for the past 20 years. Being forced to layout $ for stuff that doesn’t interest you.

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