Google Signs Deal With CBS for Upcoming YouTube Streaming Television Service

Google has inked a deal with CBS for its upcoming web-based streaming television service, reports The Wall Street Journal. Called "Unplugged," the paid subscription service, available on YouTube, will see Google offering a bundle of several channels for a set price of $25 to $40 per month.

CBS, a major network, is now on board, and Google is also said to be close to reaching deals with both 21st Century Fox and Disney, putting it one step closer to establishing a streaming service. Google plans to launch "Unplugged" in early 2017 and has already built out the necessary infrastructure.

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Google's YouTube Unplugged offering is aimed at cord cutters and is the type of television service that Apple was hoping to provide to customers before its streaming television plans were put on hold. Apple wanted to offer a "skinny bundle" featuring channels from major networks and popular cable channels, which would have been priced at approximately $35 per month.

Apple has been trying to create some kind of streaming television service for many years, but has continually run into negotiation difficulties with content providers due to its "hard-nosed" negotiating tactics and an inability to assuage fears about the interruption of traditional revenue streams.

Apple's latest streaming plans fell through because media companies demanded too much money for content rights and were reluctant to unbundle channels.

While Google and other companies are developing streaming television services, Apple is aiming to position the Apple TV set-top box and the tvOS App Store as a platform to allow existing content providers to share their content through Apple's interface. Apple is also working on some original television programming, including "Planet of the Apps," "Vital Signs," and "Carpool Karaoke."

Top Rated Comments

Naraxus Avatar
80 months ago
CBS/Google > Planet of The Apps/Carpool Karaoke/Apple
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457282 Avatar
80 months ago
I guess this demonstrates that the reason Apple didn't reach a deal was because of their negotiating tactics. If Google was able to put this package together, the networks were obviously willing to negotiate.
Google said, "put your content on youtube and we will tell you who is watching what and when. You will get tons of information so you can sell commercials better."

Apple said, "put your content on AppleTV, but we will only give you unidentified general information. You will get basic data that might help you sell commercials but we want 30% of that."

And now we know why things happened the way they did.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cougarcat Avatar
80 months ago
I wonder if Star Trek: Discovery will be included in this. Not that I'd pay $25-40 a month for TV.

Still pissed at CBS for locking it to All Access in the US.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HJM.NL Avatar
80 months ago
Siri on AppleTV 4 doesn't work for many foreign languages. So AppleTV is worthless in many countries including mine. Google is on the other hand works very well with foreign languages and is (again) very far ahead of Apple. Mix that with compatibility and reasonable prices... I'm afraid again an opportunity lost for Apple. Android is on every smart tv and getting better and better. Soon you can choose this new feature from google on your tv.
Since the biography of Steve jobs where he mentioned he cracked the way we are going to watch tv all Apple has done is talk but not deliver. Every other company: google, amazone, etc. delivered.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
i hate phones Avatar
80 months ago
am I the only that can't bring themselves to pay for channels that have been free for ages with an antenna? sorry but if i want to watch cbs or fox i'll switch to my hd antenna...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
npmacuser5 Avatar
80 months ago
The key word, negotiate. Apple has a diifult time with the concept of negotiation.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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