NBC announced an agreement with the board representing its independent TV station affiliates for opting in to NBCUniversal’s distribution deals for new over-the-top streaming services. The deal also provides a framework for “TV Everywhere” distribution rights for pay-TV subscribers.
The pact is supposed to grease the skids for national over-the-top TV services — like DirecTV Now, Dish’s Sling TV, YouTube TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Hulu’s forthcoming live TV service — to acquire rights to stream local TV programming. The goal: to provide a pathway for local stations to internet TV (as opposed to NBC licensing a national feed for its content to OTT providers).
ABC rolled out a similar initiative last year, dubbed Clearinghouse, which provides a framework for affiliated station groups to reach OTT and TV Everywhere agreements.
NBC has more than 200 affiliated stations across the U.S., in addition to its owned-and-operated 11 local NBC television stations.
“We are happy to once again reinforce NBC’s commitment to and recognition of the value of the affiliate partnership and that of local broadcasters. This agreement in the digital space reaffirms that commitment,” said Jean Dietze, president of affiliate relations for NBC.
Ralph Oakley, chairman of the NBC Television Affiliates Board and CEO of Quincy Newspapers, added: “We believe that [over-the-top] distribution can play an important role in ensuring the growth and development of local, network-affiliated television stations. We appreciate NBC’s forward-looking approach to growing our historic partnership.”