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.
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.