NBCUniversal’s CEO Is Skeptical about the Future of Live TV Streaming Services


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Earnings season is here and that often means we get some rather candid thoughts from executives around the country. This year is no different because we have learned more about several popular streaming services and the launch of Comcast’s new live TV streaming service.

Now, though, we get some insight into how live TV streaming services are doing from the CEO of NBCUniversal, Steve Burke.

During NBCUniversal’s earnings call Steve Burke started to talk about live TV streaming services. “We have deals in place with all of them. They’re actually very favorable. So from an NBCUniversal point of view, if someone goes to an over-the-top provider, it’s actually slightly better. But it’s a very tough business. And as we’ve said before, we’re skeptical that it’s going to be a very large business or profitable business for the people that are in it. And they’re off to a relatively slow start,” said Burke, according to a .

These comments are interesting for a few reasons. First, there is a lot of truth in the idea that live TV streaming services are not keeping up with the pace of cord cutting with an estimated 20 to 25 million cord cutters but only 3 to 4 million subscribers to a service such as DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, Hulu, or PlayStation Vue.

But what is maybe most shocking is the fact that Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, owns part of Hulu and just launched a live TV streaming service.

The last thing here that really stood out to us is how profitable live TV streaming services seem to be. This likely has a lot to do with the fact that you no longer have to support a massive physical network and hardware with streaming, allowing for more profitable streaming deals.

Now while NBCUniversal may not seem all that interested, other companies seem to be excited about the future of live TV streaming. AT&T’s DIRECTV NOW and DISH Network’s Sling TV both seem to be off to good start with a combined subscriber count getting close to 2.5 million.

So do you think live TV streaming will be successful? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

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