NBC reaches deal with TV affiliates for opting in to streaming services

“NBC announced an agreement with the board representing its independent TV station affiliates for opting in to NBCUniversal’s distribution deals for new over-the-top streaming services,” Todd Spangler reports for Variety. “The deal also provides a framework for “TV Everywhere” distribution rights for pay-TV subscribers.”

“The pact is supposed to grease the skids for national over-the-top TV services — like DirecTV Now, Dish’s Sling TV, YouTube TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Hulu’s forthcoming live TV service — to acquire rights to stream local TV programming,” Spangler reports. “The goal: to provide a pathway for local stations to internet TV (as opposed to NBC licensing a national feed for its content to OTT providers).”

Spangler reports, “NBC has more than 200 affiliated stations across the U.S., in addition to its owned-and-operated 11 local NBC television stations.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Right now, depending on your location, services like Sony’s Playstation Vue (the best one of the bunch; also the worst-named) might offer some networks as On-Demand-only. Meaning you can’t watch live TV. If, for example, your Vue service only offers the local CBS affiliate live, then guess which network gets watched the most? CBS.

As we can see with NBC today, the other major networks are waking up to the fact that they will have to get on board sooner than later. Once they do, no more digital TV antennas!

Apple’s premium TV plans – the hobby doomed to stay that way – April 10, 2017
YouTube TV launches in select U.S. markets – April 5, 2017
Record live TV without a cable subscription – March 23, 2017
Making sense of myriad cord-cutting options – March 17, 2017
The ultimate cable television cord cutting solution for Apple TV owners – February 17, 2017
Sony releases PlayStation Vue app for Apple TV – November 17, 2016


  1. The problem is I do not want local and figure I am not alone.

    I would much rather be able to take a generic network feed or pick the affiliate of my choosing. Local TV stations regionalize sports coverage and sometimes opt out of certain programing.

    I live in Metro Memphis, for example, and give not a Fuck about the SEC, the University of Memphis, Ole Miss, Arkansas Razorbacks, etc. In NFL land that means lots of Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons. In the NBA that means Grizzlies.

    The local news here panders to low-brow right wing nut jobs and each station is trying to out crime each other. Jesus could be handing out money to the poor and it would not be the top story- some crime story or feel good bullshit would carry the day. One local station (Tribune Owned WREG, #1 Locally) explained that it was OK for Chicago Airport Police to Assault and Batter that Doctor who was a paid customer because United had flight crew that had to be in Louisville or people in Louisville would not be able to fly- like that makes it alright. Welcome to the Southern Mentality and Right Wing World.

    Why would anyone want that kind of shit on their streaming service?

    1. In recent months I have turned to Apple News rather than TV. I can quickly peruse content from a variety of sources spanning the full left to right spectrum to compare and contrast viewpoints. I feel that this approach greatly increases the scope of my knowledge relative to local network news.

    2. Your local station compensates NBC for the exclusive right to carry NBC programming in your media market. Without exclusivity, much of the local audience would choose to watch stations in other markets.

      That is particularly true in smaller markets fairly close to a major market. Those small stations have much smaller budgets for local programming and in-depth news coverage. If the metro station could compete directly, it might not only capture many streaming viewers but possibly even the local cable carriers.

      Since local advertisers currently know that anyone who wants to see an NBC show must watch the local station, they are willing to pay that station for ads. Without exclusivity, they might not.

      Those local advertisers obviously have no need (or enough money) to make a national ad buy or to air commercials in other markets on the off chance that someone local might see them.

      So, in smaller markets, the stations could not stay on the air without exclusivity. Over time, the hundreds of markets that currently have stations might dwindle to under a dozen.

      That obviously would not be a problem for national advertisers or streaming viewers who prefer to watch distant stations. It would be a major problem for those who currently rely on local stations for news and weathercasts. It would also be a problem for all the local businesses that would lose business because they could not advertise—and an even bigger loss for those who rely on an over-the-air signal to get any programming at all. Not everyone has access to broadband at an affordable cost.

      So there is a reason Louisville residents who happen to be UK fans can’t watch local TV from Lexington.

  2. It is likely to be a long time before a person has the freedom to watch whatever they want from whatever source around the world for a reasonable cost (by the minute, by the show, etc.). The content providers and distributors really like and want to maintain their current level of control down to the regional codes on Blu-ray discs and DVDs.

    Don’t get me wrong…things appear to be slowly moving in the right direction. The internet has a way of pushing companies to open up a bit with the unspoken threat that someone else will if they do not. But it still takes time.

    Right now, it appears that the new distributors are still largely employing bundling approaches – just different sizes and sets of bundles from those currently offered by cable and satellite and AT&T.

  3. Won’t that be great, paying more to watch commercials. When the cabal 🙃 industry started it was movies without commercials but it didn’t take long for that change. The really fun part was that three major players all rotated the same basic set of movies between themselves every month, but you couldn’t get a cabal package without paying for all three. And it hadn’t gotten any better since.

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