NBC is launching on Tuesday a live stream of its programming on the Web.
The new service on NBC.com will flow the network's shows live on computers. The service, however, is available only to those who can prove they have a pay-TV subscription, so this isn't an outright freebie. NBC says that streaming to mobile devices will be available in early 2015.
The launch is part of a broader movement in the entertainment industry to offer streaming alternatives to consumers. In October, HBO announced it will offer afor those without cable or satellite, starting sometime in 2015. Currently, when customers want to access HBO Go, the company's streaming service, they need to prove that they have a pay-TV subscription and that they pay for HBO through their television service provider.
CBSits service for so-called "cord cutters" -- people who have decided to nix their pay-TV subscriptions and watch programming on streaming options, like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Dubbed CBS All Access, that service costs $5.99 per month and allows for access to thousands of show episodes for on-demand viewing, as well as the ability to stream local CBS stations live in 14 cities. (Disclosure: CNET is owned by CBS.)
ABC was the first major network to provide a live-streaming feed of its programming in certain markets, but it offers the service only to people who already subscribe to cable or satellite.
For now, NBC is offering its live-stream on all 10 NBC-owned stations. The company is also working with local affiliates to get into the mix. In addition, the new service includes on-demand programming from a NBC Universal-owned stations, such as Bravo and USA.
NBC "fully supports" the concept of "TV Everywhere" and giving "viewers access to more programming across more platforms than we have ever been able to make available online before," an NBC spokeswoman said in a statement. She added that NBC plans to spread the initiative across its brands in the coming year.