December 18, 2014
NBC launched a free 24-hour live broadcast feed over the Internet, which viewers can access if they have a pay TV subscription with certain providers and they live in one of 10 markets across the U.S. Currently, the live feeds can only be viewed on desktop PCs, but NBC plans to add mobile support in early 2015. Other networks, such as ABC and CBS, have launched similar live TV streaming services. NBCUniversal also launched a new campaign to drive viewers to its apps.
The live feeds will allow viewers to watch all of NBC’s programming online. After users authenticate their pay TV subscriptions, they will be able to watch local news, “Saturday Night Football,” “The Voice,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and other NBC shows.
NBC’s live streaming is limited to customers in certain markets and pay TV providers, according to Variety. Those markets include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Residents of those areas will still need a pay TV subscription to Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems’ Optimum TV or others, so NBC’s offering would not be an option for cord-cutters.
NBCUniversal also launched a campaign to attract viewers to the other NBCU brands and apps. The tagline is “Watch TV Without the TV,” and it’s promoting brands like E! Now, USA Now, NBC Entertainment, NBC News, Bravo Now, NBC Sports Live Extra, Oxygen Now, Sprout Now, Syfy Now, and Telemundo Now.
Other networks are also trying new live TV streaming. ABC’s service is similar to NBC’s because it still requires a pay TV subscription. CBS, on the other hand, is trying out a paid subscription service. For $5.99 per month, viewers in specific markets get access to live TV and 6,500 on-demand episodes of CBS shows.