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YouTube allegedly planning cable TV streaming in 2017

It appears that YouTube is planning on bringing live cable TV to their streaming platform with subscriptions starting at around $35 per month.

Published onMay 4, 2016

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Bloomberg has reported that YouTube supposedly has a new “Unplugged” streaming project in the works that would bring cable TV streaming to the popular video service. Although they’re reluctant to disclose their sources, they claim that people close to the project have revealed, in private talks, that Unplugged is one of YouTube’s highest priorities at the moment, and that the service is slated to go live in 2017.

This could be a boon to the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of heavy internet users who have long ago abandoned traditional television in favor of streaming services. YouTube’s executives are allegedly in talks with TV titans such as NBC Universal, Viacom, CBS, and Fox, but they have yet to secure the rights they need to move the project to completion.

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The YouTube logo.

These cable TV offerings would be made available through a paid subscription service similar to YouTube Red. Unplugged has been in the works since as early as 2012, sources say, but with Apple and Amazon investigating similar partnerships, YouTube has increased their efforts to bring the project to fruition. The streaming giant is attempting to get the lowest tier of the subscription service, the skinny bundle, to below $35 per month. However they are having a hard time snagging all the channels they would want for this service.

Barton Crockett of FBR Capital Markets is dubious that there’s much of a market need for live streaming internet television saying, “I don’t know how much demand there will be for these packages… The Internet is setting the groundwork for the possibility of consumer adoption of skinny bundles at a level we haven’t seen before, but for now the numbers are pretty small.”

What do you think of YouTube’s efforts to bring television to your browser and mobile devices? Would you pay for a subscription service like this, or do you prefer sticking with Hulu, Netflix, and other streamers to get your media? Let us know your take in the comments below!

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