The live TV streaming battle is beginning to heat up. While the two major players are Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, other companies are rushing to launch their own services. These companies included Hulu, DirecTV, and Google, which was reported earlier this year to be working on a service of its own called Unplugged. Now the company has signed a deal with CBS to carry its programming on the upcoming service, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This deal makes CBS the first major broadcast network to sign on for the new streaming service, which will likely be tied into YouTube. This would mean that Google’s service could carry not only CBS TV shows, but all of its content, including live NFL games. This deal would also allow Google’s offering to carry the CBS Sports network.
Whether Google’s deal with CBS allows it to carry the channel nationally, or simply in a limited number of markets — currently the case with PlayStation Vue — remains to be seen. Google is reportedly paying CBS a much higher rate per subscriber than most, which could point toward the network being carried nationally.
Google is also reportedly nearing a deal with 21st Century Fox that would encompass its FX, Fox Sports, and National Geographic channels. In addition, Google is said to be in advanced talks with Disney and Viacom to carry programming. For the time being, Google is keeping quiet on the matter, as are CBS, Viacom, and Fox, all of which have declined to comment on the issue.
Google’s live TV offering is expected to launch in early 2017, and will reportedly be priced between $30 and $40, at least for base programming. This is similar to Hulu’s offering, thought to be priced at $35, and which is also expected to launch early next year. Specific details about Google’s service, such as whether it will offer some kind of cloud DVR storage, are currently unknown.
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