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NBCUniversal joins the streaming wars

New launch will use the expertise Sky has gained from the launch of NOW TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in early 2020.

Sky will be provide the service to their customers, following its acquisition by NBCU’s parent company Comcast.

The streamer will be available as both ad-supporting and ad-free (which will include a fee). Viewers without a pay-TV will be able to subscriber to the unnamed service.

NBCU said it 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. 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, in the official announcement.

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 personalised ads, will provide a great consumer experience.”

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Burke said the new launch will use the expertise Sky has gained from the launch of NOW TV.  “We’re going to be using the technical team that launched NOW TV. Two of their senior executives are coming over to the US and going to help us launch this.”

Asked how the acquisition of Sky has impacted the future rollout of a streaming service, Burke said: “It’s going to give us more scale. I think Sky has a lot of attractive TV shows that we can bring to the US. We have a lot of attractive shows that we can bring to Europe. It gives us a nice leg up in a very important market as we try to get scale. Eventually these businesses are all going to be global businesses.”