NBC News says it wants to start streaming service

NEW YORK — NBC News is exploring ways to start a streaming service for its news division.

"We want to do this and I think we've got to open that door," NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said on Wednesday.

The service would operate alongside NBC's cable channel, MSNBC, which benefits from the interest in politics and frequently is the second most popular cable channel in prime time after Fox News Channel.

Television networks are exploring different ways to deal with cord-cutters and young people more interested in following news on their devices. Lack wouldn't reveal any details about how NBC is looking to do it beyond saying it's on the drawing board.

CBS currently offers CBSN, a free 24-hour streaming service with its own programming lineup. The network has revealed few details about how many people actually watch it and Lack himself said he hadn't seen it. Fox recently announced plans for its own subscription streaming service, Fox Nation, which will provide original opinion programming.

The CNNgo service, which streams the television feeds of CNN's various network, is available to users who confirm they have cable or satellite subscriptions. ABC News provides multiple live streams through its website, generally a mix of raw feeds, produced segments and special events.

ESPN, among the networks most hurt by cord-cutting, is due to roll out a paid subscription service this spring.

Lack said NBC's digital strategy in general concentrates on pushing out video, more so than its rivals. And digital programming done with partnerships, like the program "Stay Tuned," is a strong training ground for young talent.

That doesn't mean he isn't excited about MSNBC's prospects. The network has built a strong lead in prime-time in recent months, leading CNN to announce a schedule change Wednesday to start a new show behind Chris Cuomo.

"I don't have a crystal ball anymore, but I like what I see in 2018, 2019 and 2020," Lack said.

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