NBCUniversal plans to launch its streaming service in April 2020

NBCUniversal is getting a little more specific about its streaming plans.

Variety reports that NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke was on this morning’s earnings call for parent company Comcast, announcing that the NBCUniversal streaming service will launch in April 2020.

The company had previously said the service would launch in “early 2020”, and would be ad-supported with a paid, ad-free option. As part of these plans, NBCUniversal has also reclaimed the streaming rights to “The Office,” which will be leaving Netflix in January 2021.

An NBC sitcom that ended six years ago might not seem like the sturdiest foundation on which to launch yet another streamer, but “The Office” is actually Netflix’s most-watched show, according to Nielsen.  And while NBCUniversal will be investing in streaming originals, Burke said, “I would expect the vast majority of consumption in the beginning would be [of] acquired programs.”

It looks like there’s going to be a big wave of media companies  launching their streaming plays in the next year or so — Disney+ is coming on November 12, and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max (which has the rights to another of Netflix’s most popular shows, “Friends”) is scheduled to launch in spring 2020. On top of all that, Apple’s TV+ is also supposed to arrive this fall.

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