NEW YORK, N.Y. -- NBCUniversal announced today the planned launch of a new streaming service providing consumers access to world-class premium content for free, with valuable partnership opportunities for advertisers and distributors. The service, which will launch in early 2020, will be led by Bonnie Hammer, who has been promoted to Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises for NBCUniversal.
This innovative new service will draw on NBCUniversal’s large content library, as well as its broad reach of over 90 million U.S. households, plus Comcast and Sky’s leading technology platforms. It will feature some of the world’s most popular television and film franchises, including homegrown original programming as well as content from outside partners.
The ad-supported service will be available at no cost to NBCUniversal’s pay TV subscribers in the U.S. and major international markets. Comcast Cable and Sky will provide the service to their 52 million subscribers. An ad-free version will also be available for a fee. Additionally, non-pay TV customers can purchase a subscription to the service. Consistent with the company’s long-standing strategy to distribute its content broadly, NBCUniversal will continue to license content to other studios and platforms, while retaining rights to certain titles for its new service. Hammer will build a team that will include key executives from Sky’s OTT offering, NOW TV, and throughout NBCUniversal. In addition, NBCUniversal’s Digital Enterprises group, led by Maggie Suniewick, will move into Hammer’s consolidated digital group.
“NBCUniversal has some of the world’s most valuable intellectual property and top talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Many of the most-watched shows on today’s popular streaming platforms come from NBCUniversal. Our new service will be different than those presently in the market and it will be built on the company’s strengths, with NBCUniversal’s great content and the technology expertise, broad scale and the wide distribution of Comcast Cable and Sky,” said Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal.
Separately, Burke announced a reorganization of his senior leadership team, which will align its content businesses under two executives, Mark Lazarus and Jeff Shell. Lazarus has been named Chairman, NBCUniversal Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News, and will assume responsibility for most of the company’s East Coast-based content businesses, including the cable entertainment portfolio, NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. In addition, Lazarus will continue to oversee the NBC Sports Group, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations and NBC Affiliate Relations.