If the high number of launches and acquisitions shows anything, it’s that the future of television will be in streaming. Netflix is currently dominating the market, but it has several competitors hot on its heels. Amazon is spending a whopping $45 billion on its streaming services this year, including a $50 million deal to acquire streaming rights for NFL games. Even social media and cellular companies are attempting to edge in on the streaming market. Twitter has begun negotiating with television networks to land streaming rights, and even internet video stalwart YouTube is getting in on the streaming game, launching a new YouTube TV service in five U.S. cities as a trial.
Now, a seemingly unlikely outsider has announced plans to launch a new streaming service. According to Bloomberg News, American global telecommunications conglomerate Comcast is launching a streaming service to rival Netflix that will stream NBC programs, including programs which air on its subsidiary networks. Comcast is currently the largest broadcast and cable television company in the world based on its annual revenue and acquired a controlling share of NBCUniversal in 2011. Unfortunately, that move came right when the television market began shifting to streaming. However, this latest announcement shows that Comcast has possibly realized the future of television is not in traditional broadcast and cable networks but instead in streaming.
The deal would presumably include series and films created by many of the other networks owned by Comcast/NBCUniversal such as SyFy, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, and USA. The service would presumably launch sometime in 2018, although Comcast is being quite tight-lipped about their new service at the moment. Comcast VP Matt Strauss reportedly stated at a media convention last year that Comcast was not interested in launching its own internet-only streaming service, but this latest development shows that they’re possibly re-thinking that strategy.