During a lunch with media reporters back in March, NBC News chairman Andy Lack said the company was “exploring a separate linear stream for NBC News.”
Apparently he wasn’t kidding because NBC has officially unveiled its new streaming news network: NBC News Signal.
The ad-supported streaming service has already started airing its evening program, hosted by Simone Boyce, one of the network’s hosts, and it will air each Thursday until later this year, when it will become a nightly show.
This nightly show does not yet have a name, and is one of three daily shows NBC News is launching with Signal. There will be a morning and afternoon show as well. Names and launch dates for those shows are TBD as well; as are the network’s hosts.
NBC News Signal programming will significantly ramp up by the end of this year, and for the full 24/7 streaming news network to have launched by the middle of 2019.
“There is the Gen-Z generation that we are successfully reaching with our Snapchat show Stay Tuned, and another that we have been successfully reaching for decades with NBC News and MSNBC, which are baby boomers and older Gen-X,” NBC News Group svp of digital Nick Ascheim told TVNewser. “But there’s also this ‘in-between’ group of 25-45 year olds that are not being well-served by us or our competitors with always-on video news.”
The company has been testing programming on the network with more than 20 shows, including Steve Kornacki’s Way Too Early, and 218: The Race for the House series, which will now air daily at 12 p.m. ET through the midterms. Katy Tur will host a special show for the service on election night (Nov. 6) that will air on the service from 7-9 p.m. ET.
NBC News presently has 10 full time staff that work on NBC News Signal, including Erica Fink and Christine Cataldi – the two eps for NBC News Signal. The service is able to draw on the vast resources from NBC for content, staffing and technology.
Signal is currently available on NBCNews.com, on NBC News’ OTT and mobile apps, PlutoTV, YouTube, and Twitter.
Creating a 24/7 streaming news service is no small endeavor, especially considering all of the NBC News programming.
Is this overkill? Is there room for a streaming service? The powers that be believe so.
“Our research has shown us that they are hungry for news around the topics of the moment but they’re not likely to subscribe to cable or not feel fulfilled by the quick bites from mobile news notifications. That’s where we come in,” said Ascheim.
The launch of Signal will, in theory, eventually CBS News’ 24/7 streaming news service CBSN some competition, and it comes right as Fox News Channel readies the launch of a new direct to consumer service, Fox Nation. FNC has already announced the slate of long and form short programming for Fox Nation, and the talent that will be involved.
Lastly, there’s ABC News Live, the network’s 24/7 breaking news and live events streaming channel, is on The Roku channel, Facebook Watch, the ABC News website and app on OTT, including Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices.