NBC News has a lot of stories to tell during the Olympics and the Super Bowl. One of them is about itself.
The large NBCUniversal news division is using both events to get the word out about its growing package of streaming news programming at a time when the battle for broadband info junkies appears to be reaching a new apex.
NBC News will tout its streaming-news outlet NBC News Now with a 20 second promo in the first quarter during NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl LVI this Sunday, as well as with a 15-second promo during the pre-game. A promo for NBC News Now will also appear during the network’s Olympics coverage. Those promos are set to air as NBC News is amplifying the service in both New York, with a big billboard in Times Square, and Los Angeles, with billboards going up this month.
“We’ve got these incredibly high-profile, high-visibility opportunities like the Super Bowl and the Olympics that only take place together once in a blue moon,” says Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News, in an interview. He adds: “We are taking advantage of that opportunity to speak to as broad and as large an audience as possible.”
NBC News uses its corporate bullhorn as competitors are trying to do the same. WarnerMedia’s CNN is expected to launch the subscription streaming-video hub CNN Plus in weeks to come and has been blasting promos touting new series on social media and its own air. CBS News recently unveiled a retooled streaming hub and has been publicizing such recent efforts as having correspondent Holly Williams deliver a live report from the Ukraine for broadband viewers.
But NBC News has been particularly aggressive about touting its streaming efforts in recent weeks, even going so far in December as to buy full-page newspaper ads in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
In most of its marketing efforts, NBC tries to emphasize how its news stream is different from CNN’s in particular. NBC News Now doesn’t require a subscription and can be found in most places that dispense programming via broadband, whether it be a direct feed online or via smart TVs or broadband outlets like Amazon Fire and Roku.
“It’s free,” says Oppenheim. “We don’t charge a cent for it, and it’s ubiquitous and readily available.”
Many of the promos feature Lester Holt of “NBC Nightly News” and Tom Llamas and Hallie Jackson, both of whom have regular weekday shows on NBC News Now. The streaming-news outlet features 10 live hours of programming each day along with re-airs of that day’s “Nightly News.”
NBC News Group pledged in July of last year to add 200 new positions devoted to streaming and digital venues. Oppenheim says a promotional campaign to get the word out is likely to continue. Rivals are likely to do the same.