The head honcho at NBCUniversal appears to be part of an increasingly exclusive group of industry movers and shakers who aren’t yet sold on streaming video.
Steve Burke, NBCUniversal CEO, commented on the OTT business during Comcast’s earnings call Thursday, pointing out the business’s “relatively slow start” and expressing skepticism that it will turn into a significant profit generator.
Fierce Cable notes that Burke did say the OTT services that have launched so far are doing about as well as NBC expected, but he added that they aren’t “material to our business.”
The report quotes Burke saying of the OTT 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.”
The report notes that NBC is a part owner of Hulu and has deals in place with DirecTV Now, Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue and FuboTV, along with Hulu.
“NBC also has a deal with the NBC Television Affiliates Board aimed at getting local TV broadcasters to opt in to carriage agreements with new OTT streaming services and for TV Everywhere distribution rights,” Fierce Cable adds.