The Silicon Valley tech behemoths haven’t been very successful as of yet in signing on cable content partners to sell TV streaming to the masses. The game seems to be changing, however, as a new report (via The Wall Street Journal) says that Google is planning to launch such a service as soon as early next year and has already signed on CBS as a content partner…
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First rumored earlier this year, the service is said to be finding a home within the YouTube platform, and it’s supposedly dubbed “Unplugged”. Google has also been courting other content partners — like Fox and Disney — for the “skinny bundle” of live TV channels, and talks are nearing their culmination:
The new service, which will be housed on Google’s YouTube platform, is likely to debut in early 2017. Google is also near an accord to distribute channels owned by 21st Century Fox and is in advanced talks with Walt Disney Co. as well, the people said. . (21st Century Fox and News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal, share common ownership.)
Reportedly, this bundle of TV content is going to be priced somewhere in the range of $25 to $40 per month, and WSJ says that it will be separate from Google’s other service, YouTube Red, which offers ad-free YouTube and music streaming. The service will, however, include a “curated portion” of YouTube Red content.
Google is courting those like myself who have gone without cable TV for a long time due to its high cost and inconvenience. But Google isn’t only player in this game. Similar-in-concept SlingTV has been available for a while now, and Hulu confirmed earlier this year that it plans to launch a streaming service very similar to Google’s early next year as well.
Apple has been working to build a “skinny bundle” of key cable TV content for several years now, and as recently as 2014 almost put together a product that the Cupertino company hoped to launch with the latest generation Apple TV. That obviously never came to fruition.