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Comcast Is ‘Exploring’ the Launch of an NBC-Sky News Channel ‘Later This Year’

NBCUniversal parent purchased Sky holdings for more than $50 billion last year

Comcast chief Brian Roberts says he’s so pleased with how his Sky acquisition is going, and he is “exploring launching a global NBC/Sky News channel later this year.”

On his company’s first-quarter 2019 earnings conference call, Roberts did not elaborate on whether his plans call for a linear TV channel or a streaming network — or both — so we reached out to a Comcast spokesman with just that question.

“That’s all we’re saying about it at the moment,” the rep told TheWrap.

A little later on the call with media analysts and reporters, NBCU boss Steve Burke said his division expects to launch an SVOD service in “about a year.” He also insisted that streaming is still in its infancy stages, so no, they won’t be late to the game.

“You watch CNBC, you would assuming streaming- that all of the entrants are in and it’s a big battle between two or three of them,” Burke said. “We actually think it’s very, very early innings — in some ways reminiscent of cable in the 1970s or 1980s.”

Comcast purchased a majority stake in UK media giant Sky for $39 billion last year, outbidding Fox. Shortly thereafter, Fox sold its remaining Sky holdings to Comcast for north of $15 billion.

Read all about Comcast’s Q1 earnings here.