Google has arrived at a deal with CBS to carry its broadcast content on its upcoming web TV offering, according to the Wall Street Journal. Locking in CBS will go a long way to making a compelling “skinny” TV bundle for people who aren’t interested in signing up for cable, and Google is also nearing a deal with Fox and Walt Disney (which owns ABC).
Google’s rumored service is called “Unplugged,” according to the report, and will fall somewhere between $25 and $40, with the goal of scooping up subscribers looking for a basic broadcast lineup without the strings and bundles of traditional cable to satellite offerings.
This would put Google out ahead of Apple, which was previously reported to be looking to provide something similar alongside the launch of its latest Apple TV. It would also put it on par with others including Dish’s SlingTV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue. A forthcoming service from Hulu looks to be designed with similar intent.
Google’s Unplugged will live on YouTube, and a part of YouTube Red’s content library will be made available through it, though the two will remain separate, according to the WSJ.
Slowly but surely, TV content providers in the U.S. are realizing that days are numbered for a centralized model where content is primarily delivered via a box in the home connected to a wire of some kind. Google’s service could be a strong survival option for legacy TV networks, especially since YouTube already has the attention of a huge chunk of younger audiences.