NBC doesn’t want to be left behind in the ever-growing streaming arena. The network just debuted its own live streaming service on December 16, 2014 giving viewers the ability to access programming from the Peacock on a number of different internet connected devices.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the online service is available for streaming today, and NBC plans to launch a mobile version by early next year. However, unlike the other recent streaming initiatives from major media companies, there’s a catch. Anyone who wants to watch NBC’s shows has to have a paid television subscription and log into the network’s new streaming service by way of their verified cable provider. So, while NBC’s live streaming service doesn’t cost current subscribers anything extra, cord-cutters won’t be able to access any of NBC’s programming through the destination site or soon-to-launch mobile apps.
NBC’s decision to provide its shows under the umbrella of TV Everywhere to cable subscribers is different from the upcoming services offered by CBS and HBO. Both of those networks are launching standalone subscription-based services (i.e. a user won’t also need a cable subscription, but will instead pay a monthly subscription fee directly to those services) to cater to the growing number of cord-cutters who prefer to watch their entertainment outside the traditional realm of cable TV.
Despite the service’s limited access, NBC is investing a lot of money and resources into the new initiative, which will feature programming familiar to NBC television audiences as well as a few exclusives. The Wall Street Journal reported the network plans to allocate millions of dollars to the project, and that NBC is “committed to supporting the TV Everywhere ecosystem.”