MSNBC intends to make some of its best-known opinion programs available to premium tier customers of the NBCU Peacock streaming service, allowing the shows to be seen by consumers who might not subscribe to the cable network and continuing efforts by cable-news outlets to monetize their efforts beyond their biggest sources of distribution.
Starting in early spring, an MSNBC “hub” on Peacock will offer episodes of “Morning Joe,” “Deadline: White House,” “The Beat with Ari Melber,” “The ReidOut,” “All In with Chris Hayes” and MSNBC’s opinion programs on-demand the day after they air on cable. Specials with top hosts including Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace, Chris Hayes, Trymaine Lee and others will premiere later this year, streaming exclusively on Peacock. The new MSNBC hub is available for a Peacock Premium subscription of $4.99 per month.
In the past, cable-news networks have been careful about making their content available via alternate means of distribution, for fear of roiling agreements struck with cable and satellite companies. In recent months, however, more of the networks have live-streamed coverage of events of national import and even made such viewing free for people who do not subscribe via traditional distribution.
“We are reimagining the MSNBC experience by adding the core of our perspective programming to Peacock and reaching audiences wherever they are and however they choose to consume content,” said Rashida Jones, president of MSNBC, in a prepared statement. “As MSNBC has the most loyal viewers on cable news, our streaming expansion will further strengthen our portfolio 24 hours a day, seven days a week on all platforms.”
Others have tested these waters. Last year, Fox News Channel began making its lineup of primetime opinion programs available on its Fox Nation streaming-video service, just one day after they air on cable.
MSNBC has more opinion shows to offer than in the past. Under Jones, the network has been adding shows with outspoken anchors to its weekend schedule, with one from Symone Sanders, a former advisor to political campaigns of Joe BIden and Bernie Sanders, slated to debut in coming weeks.
All of the nation’s big TV-news outlets are investing more heavily in streaming. CBS News recently unveiled a new line of streaming programs that use CBS News anchors and correspondents. Fox News Media has unveiled a portfolio of streaming efforts that include the stand-alone subscription service Fox Nation; international outlets that carry Fox News programs; and an ad-supported Fox Weather. ABC News, meanwhile has put resources into ABC News Live. And WarnerMedia’s CNN is slated to launch a new subscription-based streaming outlet, CNN Plus, in the next few weeks.