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YouTube Lands CBS for Unplugged – Report

Google unit signs up CBS for its planned skinny bundle OTT service, slated to launch early next year, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Alan Breznick

October 19, 2016

2 Min Read
YouTube Lands CBS for Unplugged – Report

CBS is going OTT once again, thanks to a reported new deal with YouTube.CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), which already streams its own CBS All Access OTT service directly to subscribers, has apparently become the first major broadcasting network to sign up for a new "skinny" TV service planned by YouTube Inc. , according to The Wall Street Journal . Known as Unplugged, the new OTT subscription service is slated to launch early next year, joining YouTube Red, an ad-free OTT subscription service that YouTube introduced last year. (See YouTube Red Boasts Cable-Like Audiences.)But CBS likely won't be the last. As the Journal reports, YouTube, a unit of Alphabet Inc. 's main Google Internet business, is also negotiating seriously with 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) for the carriage rights to their respective TV properties.YouTube is looking to price the Unplugged bundle of live TV channels between $25 and $40 a month, according to media executives who have heard the pitch, the Journal said. YouTube declined comment on the report.With the Unplugged launch, YouTube will be venturing into an increasingly congested space in the OTT video market. Its main rivals will likely include Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE)'s PlayStation Vue, Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s Sling TV and Hulu LLC -- the online video platform owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Inc.YouTube has run into resistance from media companies because of concerns that it doesn't tackle video piracy by viewers on its site aggressively enough. In addition, programmers are reportedly concerned about YouTube's efforts to overlay its own data on network feeds and the potential for the company to bundle premium network content alongside its own web-native videos and stars, which they worry will cheapen their fare. But, with the CBS deal, it looks like YouTube is now overcoming those hurdles.— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Alan Breznick

Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Alan Breznick is a business editor and research analyst who has tracked the cable, broadband and video markets like an over-bred bloodhound for more than 20 years.

As a senior analyst at Light Reading's research arm, Heavy Reading, for six years, Alan authored numerous reports, columns, white papers and case studies, moderated dozens of webinars, and organized and hosted more than 15 -- count 'em --regional conferences on cable, broadband and IPTV technology topics. And all this while maintaining a summer job as an ostrich wrangler.

Before that, he was the founding editor of Light Reading Cable, transforming a monthly newsletter into a daily website. Prior to joining Light Reading, Alan was a broadband analyst for Kinetic Strategies and a contributing analyst for One Touch Intelligence.

He is based in the Toronto area, though is New York born and bred. Just ask, and he will take you on a power-walking tour of Manhattan, pointing out the tourist hotspots and the places that make up his personal timeline: The bench where he smoked his first pipe; the alley where he won his first fist fight. That kind of thing.

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