Fight OTT or Embrace it? NBCUniversal Seeks Middle Path

In an important shift, The advent of voice over Internet Protocol has forced legacy voice providers to choose between “joining” or “fighting” the trend. The rise of third party messaging platforms likewise has forced mobile service providers to ponder a similar choice: join in the trend, or not.

In a somewhat similar way, Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit has had to decide whether it would join the streaming delivery business, or not. In a modest way, it has decided to launch a niche streaming service.

Comcast Corp. ’s NBCUniversal is aiming to launch a comedy-focused over the top video service later in 2015.

The comedy service would likely feature full episodes of NBC shows such as “The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon and “Saturday Night Live.”

Original and exclusive content is envisioned. NBCU apparently has not decided on a price point, but a range of $2.50 to $3.50 per month is possible.

That niche approach is not an instance of NBCUniversal cannibalizing its linear video business, as the offer is for a new niche channel that will not be available to linear video distributors.

Unlike the cases of VoIP and instant messaging, NBCUniversal has not had to make a full choice between legacy products and replacement products.

Still, the move is one more sign that a shift to streaming is coming.
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