YouTube may be gearing up to take on Sling TV and PlayStation Vue in the over-the-top TV market. According to a report from The Information (subscription required), the streaming video company is in talks with major cable networks like ABC, CBS, and ESPN. Those channels are expected to be a part of a skinny bundle priced at around $35.
Google, which owns YouTube, is reportedly also in talks with NBC, FOX, and Viacom, each of which owns multiple important networks. Things appear to be moving along quickly – according to the report, the service is expected to launch in six to nine months.
The move makes sense for the content providers. ESPN has lost subscribers thanks to cord cutting, has publicly considered a direct-to-consumer OTT model, and is already a part of several OTT TV packages. CBS already has its own OTT service (CBS All Access) but is being outflanked in the OTT skinny bundle market by big-four broadcasting rivals like FOX and NBC, which are already available on Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. ABC, which shares a parent company with ESPN (Disney), is also an OTT veteran.
It’s an interesting move for YouTube, which launched YouTube Red just last year but has made only limited efforts to compete with OTT giants like Netflix and Hulu. Now YouTube is targeting a different type of OTT space – one that Google’s rival Apple has long been rumored to be eyeing. YouTube’s project seems to be moving along while Apple’s has stalled, which no doubt delights YouTube’s parent company.
Please like us on Facebook to keep up to date on what's new in the world of cord cutting: