Comcast and NBC buildings in New York.

As we end 2018, we can look forward to yet another streaming service that will join the always expanding hoard of services. Bloomberg reports that Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, is hinting at launching a new online service in 2019.

In a holiday greeting to employees, Steve Burke, the CEO of NBCUniversal and Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast, sent this cryptic message in the style of Dr. Seuss about launching a Netflix-style service next year:

“While you all go off to relax, swim or ski,” Burke wrote. “Maybe, just maybe, next year we will announce our plan for OTT.” 

“OTT” meaning “over-the-top” which has been successful for Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu (in which Comcast is a partner). But reading the tea leaves, it would not be surprising to see NBCUniversal get involved in streaming. Rivals Disney and WarnerMedia are set to launch their own streaming services in the coming year, so Comcast would be a natural progression.

Utilizing the Universal movie and NBC TV (think “The Office”) library, this service would have plenty of content. And if Comcast wanted to utilize NBC Sports to add to the new service (Olympics, NFL, NHL Notre Dame, English Premier League), it might have a decent alternative to Netflix (which doesn’t offer live sports) and Amazon (which is trying to build its sports arsenal from scratch.)

Of course, it’s still early, and we have no idea what Burke has in mind for this streaming service or how much it’s going to cost, but when Comcast puts it mind into something, it’s going to follow through. It’s a matter of when and how, not if.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.