NBC Launches Free, Ad-Supported Streaming News Channel
In a bid to reach young cord-cutting consumers, NBC today launches NBC News Now, a free and ad-supported streaming service available via the web, mobile apps, and connected TV apps. NBC News Now offers eight hours of daily news, streaming from 3 PM to 11 PM Eastern on weekdays.
NBC broke the news of the launch at this year's SXSW, when NBC News president Noah Oppenheim said the service would debut in early May. NBC News Now is actually a rebranding and expansion of NBC News Signal, which was announced in October 2018 and debuted soon after. NBC News Now soft launched last week, but today is its official unveiling.
The field is already crowded, as ABC News, CBS News, and Cheddar all offer free streaming news services, while Fox offers subscription service Fox Nation. CNN is targeting the same market with Great Big Story.
NBC's strategy is to take content from its other news resources, but make it bite-sized for quick online viewing. The tone is more conversational than its broadcast news. Viewers are mostly tuning in through their TVs, Rashida Jones, senior VP of specials for NBC News and MSNBC, told Broadcasting & Cable. Viewers also in their 20s to 40s and news junkies.
Fans can tune in new versions of Battlestar Galactica, Saved By the Bell, and Punky Brewster, or watch familiar hits including The Office and Parks and Recreation.
The network will join ABC, CBS, Cheddar, and others in providing an ad-supported live news option for viewers who don't have pay TV.