Chairman of NBC Entertainment Bob Greenblatt told a room of TV writers that the company is making progress with its OTT strategy and will have a product soon. “It’s kind of the way the audience is going and where they demand us to go. So we spend a lot of time talking about what we’re going to do in this space,” he said at the Television Critics Press tour in Los Angeles Tuesday. “I’m not ready to talk about anything today definitive, but hopefully, in the next couple months, we’ll have something to talk about.”
He said that any OTT product will need to benefit distributors as well and that it must be able to protect that relationship between programmer and distributor. “We’re in a bit of a unique position because our sister company is a cable company, and the OTT strategy is a direct sort of competitive take from what the cable business is. So we want to do whatever we do in that space we want to do in a way that isn’t just an affront to what the cable business and the distributors want. We have great relationships with all our distributors, from DirecTV to all of them.” Comparing NBC to CBS, Greenblatt said that the latter broadcaster had an easier time of going OTT because it has fewer cable nets. It’s “easier for CBS to do it because they don’t have cable companies, except for Showtime, which is a pay service already it’s basically over the top already nor do they have a relationship with a distributor.”
But nothing to be announced quite yet. “In the meantime… we’re doing a lot of these other smaller “toe in the water” kind of approaches, and we’re trying to be in a lot of these spaces so that if the world really moves in that direction, we can go there as well,” he said.