Tag Archives: comcast

NBCUniversal launching online comedy service for $4 a month

NBCUniversal’s latest effort to target millennials is coming: An online video service focused on comedy that costs $4 a month.

The service, Seeso, will have original content and NBC shows like 30 Rock and The Office, Saturday Night Live, standup and the Monty Python movies. It will be available for most people in January.

NBCUniversal and its owner, cable and Internet giant Comcast, have been trying different ways to get young people’s attention as live TV viewing declines. If Seeso had been born 15 years ago, it would have launched as a cable channel, said Evan Shapiro, executive vice president of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. But online viewing today is “clearly part of the mainstream,” and to reach comedy nerds, Comcast is launching Seeso as an online subscription service.

Comcast has also launched a YouTube-like video service, Watchable; is trying out an Internet-based basic cable TV alternative that doesn’t require a cable box in some markets; and invested in new media outlets like BuzzFeed and Vox.

But Seeso will have to compete for attention in a crowded market.

“In the past year we keep seeing more and more services coming up, more niche services,” said Glenn Hower, an analyst with market research firm Parks Associates.

There’s Netflix, which has been streaming video for years and has a library with diverse choices, and newer competitors like HBO’s online channel and Dish Network’s Sling, which shows live TV. There are also specialty services such as anime-focused Crunchyroll.

Seeso won’t have ads and viewers can watch about 10 to 15 percent of the available content for free.

At a Glance: Internet TV options

You’ve heard about Comcast’s new streaming video service. A glance now at the ever-changing viewer’s scape of Internet TV options.

COMCAST

Monthly price: $15.

Live offering: A dozen networks, including HBO.

On demand: Yes.

Restrictions: Internet customers only.

AMAZON

Monthly price: $8.25; only through $99-a-year Amazon Prime subscription.

Live offering: None.

On demand: Apart from original shows such as “Transparent,” offerings tend to be past seasons, plus movies. Next-day access to shows for $2 or $3 an episode.

Restrictions: Not available directly on Apple TV. Prime requires one-year commitment.

CBS ALL-ACCESS

Monthly price: $6.

Live offering: More than 90 markets.

On demand: Day-after access to shows on mobile devices (on traditional computers, it’s free without a subscription). Full seasons for many shows, not just past five episodes. Past seasons for a handful of shows, including “The Good Wife,” ‘’Survivor,” ‘’The Amazing Race” and “60 Minutes.”

Restrictions: No apps for streaming TV devices. Some sports blackouts.

DISH’S SLING TV

Monthly price: Starts at $20.

Live offering: About 20 channels, including ESPN, ABC Family, AMC and Food Network. No broadcast channels like CBS or NBC. Add-on packages for sports, movies, kids, lifestyles and world news available for $5 each and HBO for $15.

On demand: No recording of channels, though some offer older episodes, including HBO. Access to WatchESPN on-demand app, with others coming.

Restrictions: Can watch only one stream at a time, so members of households will need multiple subscriptions, although HBO content can be streamed on three devices at a time. DVR controls, such as pause and rewind, aren’t available for many channels. NFL blackouts on mobile devices.

HBO NOW

Monthly price: About $15.

Live offering: New episodes are available through apps about the same time they are shown on TV.

On demand: Current and past seasons of most HBO shows, including “Games of Thrones,” ‘’Girls” and “The Sopranos.” Hundreds of movies, including those from Universal, Fox, Warner Bros. and Summit.

Restrictions: Can subscribe only through a partner. Apple has exclusive deal among non-traditional distributors and requires Apple TV, an iPhone or iPad to sign up (you can then watch through a browser on other devices). Cablevision is the only pay-TV provider so far to offer HBO Now.

HULU

Monthly price: $8 for Plus, though many shows are free on Windows and Mac computers.

Live offering: None.

On demand: Next-day access to shows from ABC, NBC, Fox and CW, along with some cable channels. Some movies and original shows.

Restrictions: Fox and CW shows restricted to pay-TV subscribers for first week. ABC requires pay-TV or Hulu Plus subscription during that time. Plus also needed for viewing on mobile and streaming TV devices.

ITUNES

Monthly price: None.

Live offering: None, except for special events such as iTunes music festival.

On demand: Next-day access to shows for $2 or $3 an episode.

Restrictions: No Android devices. Apple TV is only streaming device supported.

MLB.TV

Monthly price: $20 (or $110 for full season).

Live offering: All Major League Baseball games, subject to hometown blackouts.

On demand: All games.

Restrictions: Lots of blackouts. Extra $5 a month or $20 for season to watch on mobile and streaming TV devices. Separate package available for minor-league games.

NETFLIX

Monthly price: Starts at $8.99

Live offering: None.

On demand: Apart from original shows such as “House of Cards,” offerings tend to be past seasons, plus movies.

Restrictions: Ultra high-definition (4k) streaming for $3 more, standard-definition only for $1 less.

NICKELODEON’S NOGGIN

Monthly price: $6

Live offering: None.

On demand: Games and activities created for service alongside archives of shows no longer on any of Nickelodeon’s TV channels. Aimed at preschoolers.

Restrictions: Available on Apple mobile devices only at first.

SONY’S PLAYSTATION VUE

Monthly price: Starts at $50.

Live offering: Base plan with CBS, NBC and Fox broadcast channels and cable channels from AMC, Discovery, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps, Turner and Viacom. Additional sports and other channels for $10 or $20 more. More than 50 channels in basic; more than 85 in all. Main omissions: CW network and Disney channels, including ESPN and ABC.

On demand: Recording capabilities with unlimited storage, though shows expire after 28 days. Many shows over the past three days are automatically available. Access to some channels’ on-demand apps.

Restrictions: Available in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles only. Up to three simultaneous streams in a home, but each must have a separate PlayStation 3 or 4, and only one can be PS4. Some content is available on an iPad app for out-of-home viewing, but a PlayStation is still required for set-up.