YouTube said to be planning 'Unplugged' live TV as soon as 2017

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Though best known for user-uploaded videos, Google's YouTube is nevertheless planning to launch a live TV subscription service dubbed "Unplugged," a report said on Wednesday.




YouTube has already overhauled its backend architecture in preparation for the service, which is said to be a high priority, one source informed Bloomberg. Company executives have allegedly talked about their plans with media giants such as CBS, Viacom, NBCUniversal, 21st Century Fox, although multiple sources indicated no rights have been secured so far.

Unplugged has reportedly been in development since at least 2012, with attention to the project growing in the last few months.

YouTube has yet to settle on a way of bundling channels -- one might involve a "skinny" bundle, pairing the four major U.S. broadcast networks with a small collection of cable offerings. Another option might involve Sling-like theme bundles, such as comedy. Under that model, people would have to pay one fee for a core bundle and additional money for the themed selections.

Regardless, the company is said to be aiming at keeping a main bundle under $35 per month. That would be essential for competing with rivals Sling and PlayStation Vue, which have plans starting at $20 and $30, respectively.

The soonest Unplugged could launch is sometime in 2017, one source claimed. That's in the same timeframe as Hulu, which earlier today confirmed plans for its own live TV service.

Apple could potentially debut live TV in September, but such an offering has been rumored for years, with reports regularly referring to failed negotiations with content providers.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,504member
    TV streaming service, Google says me too. Than, Amazon, Apple and many more will join. Long as either Ala-carte or multiple skinny bundles with local channels between $20.$50, than good deal. Great time for cord cutters but watch out as cable companies will compensate by increasing internet access price and or put data cap crippling streaming all together.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 2 of 4
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 621member
    No deals in place with broadcast companies yet they are releasing in 2017...great article
    mike1
  • Reply 3 of 4
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,648member
    I bet these guys heard about Apple announcing something at WWDC and they are jumping the gun.
    Time will tell.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    redstaterredstater Posts: 49member
    I bet these guys heard about Apple announcing something at WWDC and they are jumping the gun.
    Time will tell.
    Me too? More like me first. So you did not read the parts about Google working on this since 2012 and already having the backend services ready, and have long tried - and failed - to secure content from providers? If you didn't, allow me to mention that Google has been working on this idea in some form since 2009. Remember Google TV? It failed for the same reason that Google - and Apple - are having trouble now and why Apple's original plans for the Apple TV refresh failed: cable and broadcast companies and studios refused to license content because they wanted to keep their monopoly. At some point this nonsense has to end. Yes, Google emulated the UX/UI from the iPhone for Android (but absolutely, totally nothing else incidentally) but when it comes to software and services, Google is among the leaders here (along with Amazon and Microsoft) with Apple having nothing that Google needs or wants. EVEN if you ignore the fact that Google has been trying to launch some form of this FOR EIGHT YEARS, then Google is trying to keep up with Hulu, Sling TV and Sony, who already offer similar products or will launch them shortly. Not trying to compete with some service that Apple only started casting it eyes towards a couple of years ago and still may or may not offer. Or - to put it another way - if they do offer it, it will only be because they are looking for ANY service to get into in order to offset their expected declining hardware revenue.
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