NBCU Unveils Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Service


NBCUniversal will roll out a new ad-supported streaming service in 2020 and has tapped Bonnie Hammer to lead it as chairman of direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises.

The platform will deliver content from the NBCUniversal content library as well as third-party fare. It will be free to pay-TV subscribers in the U.S. and major international markets, including Comcast Cable and Sky customers. There will also be an ad-free version for a fee, and non-pay-TV customers will be able to purchase a subscription. NBCUniversal says will continue to license content to other studios and platforms, while retaining rights to certain titles for its new service.

“NBCUniversal has some of the world’s most valuable intellectual property and top talent, both in front of and behind the camera,” said Steve Burke, CEO. “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.”

He added, “People are watching premium content more than ever, but they want more flexibility and value. NBCUniversal is perfectly positioned to offer a variety of choices, due to our deep relationships with advertisers and distribution partners, as well as our data-targeting capabilities. Advertising continues to be a major part of the entertainment ecosystem and we believe that a streaming service, with limited and personalized ads, will provide a great consumer experience.”

Burke also announced a reorganization of his senior leadership team, with expanded responsibilities for Mark Lazarus and Jeff Shell. Lazarus has been named chairman of 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. He will continue to oversee the NBC Sports Group, owned TV stations and NBC affiliate relations.

Shell takes on the expanded role of chairman of film and entertainment, adding NBC Entertainment, international and Telemundo to his remit. With this move, Donna Langley becomes the sole chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, reporting to Shell.

Hammer, Lazarus and Shell will continue to report directly to Burke.