NBC Cooking Up Streaming Service For Its Comedic Offerings

snlgrabMuch like Disney’s recent revelation that it now owns a bunch of Star Wars and Marvel stuff might justify standalone streaming services, NBC has reportedly awoken to the notion that it might be able to make some money selling access to its comedy library.

This is according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports that the Comcast-owned Peacock Network is considering a low-dollar-value ($2.50-$3.50/month) streaming service that would include access to full episodes of shows like Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show, along with original content.

There is also talk of other niche-targeted streams from NBC and its various cable channels (USA, Bravo, E!) for audiences into everything from horror to religion.

As more consumers turn away from traditional cable TV and toward online streaming service, cable networks are losing viewers, meaning fewer advertising dollars or having to squeeze more ads into each show. The hope is that targeted streaming services may appeal to consumers who don’t mind paying for TV but want more control over the channels they pay for.

What’s unknown is whether NBC would be cannibalizing other revenue sources if it launches new streaming services. The company owns a chunk of Hulu, which carries NBC programming; some Hulu Plus users may ditch that $8/month service for a cheaper option. And NBC made a killing by licensing past episodes of The Blacklist to Netflix last year. Making that show or others available on a less-expensive service may make it more difficult for NBC to command top dollar from Netflix.

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