NBC to Launch Comedy Internet-Subscription Service in 2015

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NBC is looking to get into the over-the-top game starting with grins and giggles.

The Peacock is planning to launch a comedy subscription-video service later in 2015, Variety has confirmed.

But at this point, the service still in the early stages of development. NBC’s comedy subscription VOD offering could be stocked with content including full episodes of such shows as “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live,” according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the plans. However, no decisions about what programming will be part of the package have been made, a source familiar with NBCUniversal’s plans said.

NBCU is mulling a price in the ballpark of $2.50 to $3.50 per month for the comedy SVOD service. In addition to episodes of full-length TV shows, the service also is envisioned to include original series. The digital comedy originals could potentially feature stars from NBCU’s television shows; but, again, that’s just an idea at the moment.

It’s worth noting that NBC’s biggest primetime comedy hit recently has been “Parks and Recreation,” which ended its seven-season run on Feb. 24. Aside from that, it’s lacking in this department.

See More: NBC TCA: Ending Comedy Drought is Top Priority for Peacock

The NBC comedy service would join other OTT ventures from traditional TV nets. The goal: to reach consumers cutting the cord on cable and satellite services, or who are never signing up for pay TV in the first place.

CBS last fall rolled out “All Access,” a subscription service for $5.99 monthly that includes current and past seasons of shows and live TV in its local-station markets, while HBO and Showtime have said they’re planning their own standalone SVOD services. In addition, Viacom’s Nickelodeon this week expects to launch Noggin, a $5.99-per-month mobile service aimed at preschoolers.

NBCU’s subscription-streaming strategy is being run by Evan Shapiro, who joined the company in December as exec VP of digital enterprises. Shapiro, who previously headed Participant Media’s Pivot cable channel and was president of IFC and Sundance Channel, was hired to develop direct-to-consumer distribution models, according to NBCU.

Shapiro’s team has discussed creating SVOD services in other genres, such as “faith and family” and horror, per the Journal report. But NBCU’s only over-the-top product currently in the pipeline is the comedy service.

An NBCU rep declined to comment.

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  1. Brie says:

    Reblogged this on clown college confessions and commented:
    Might have to get rid of cable if I can get it all here!

  2. TV Consumer says:

    Every NBC show is already on Hulu Plus, which I believe NBC is a co-investor in. So what will happen to their Hulu Plus deal?

    Btw, for a few bucks more, you can get all of NBC plus thousands more shows on Hulu, so why would you buy this NBC-only app?

    • dee says:

      Really? I have Hulu ($7.99 month) and can’t watch entire episodes after about a few weeks. And there are so MANY clips, it drives me nuts.

  3. Michael Anthony says:

    Comedy only? Its not their strong suit. Just as with the Today show and Nightly News, NBC overreaches and think it has a gem on its hand

  4. Chicago860 says:

    They already have a comedy network. MSNBC

  5. Steve says:

    No thanks. I would love to see them put Jimmy Fallon behind a pay-wall and find out how many people would be willing to pay for that drek.

  6. CMarks says:

    A comedy subscription service from the major network that can’t seem to field a successful comedy. I just can’t see people paying money for Fallon or SNL when both are free and easily DVR’d. Since “Friends” and “Seinfeld” none of NBC’s sit-coms ever seem to develop more than cult following.

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