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NBCU to Debut Ad-Supported Streaming Video Service in 2020

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NBCUniversal announced plans to debut a streaming video service, although it won't hit the market until early 2020. The as-yet-unnamed service will be ad-supported and free to access for authenticated pay TV customers. Everyone else will be able to sign on for a monthly subscription price. NBCU will also offer an upgraded ad-free plan, although it didn't disclose the price for either option. The company plans to launch the service ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will begin in late July.

The NBCU service will draw from the company's library of content, but NBCU will continue to license its content to other streaming companies.

NBCU parent company Comcast own 30 percent of Hulu, which this service will compete with while duplicating some content. According to Variety, Disney is expected to attempt a buy-out for Comcast's share, but Comcast doesn't expect to sell in the near future. It notes that content created by NBCU drives 17 percent of all viewing on Hulu.

NBCU's last entry into the streaming market was WatchBack, an app-based service which debuted in 2018. WatchBack was conceived of as more of a marketing strategy, rewarding viewers for watching NBCU shows. Prior to that it launched comedy service Seeso, which folded in November 2017.

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