The NBC network has announced that Universal+, its video on demand service, will be deployed in France before the end of the year. The platform brings together the channels Universal TV, E!, DreamWorks, Studio Universal, 13ème Rue, Syfy and Telemundo. No less than 20,000 hours of content will be available on VOD or linear broadcast.
This is the whole content of the announcement from NBCUniversal. For the rest, we have not obtained any details regarding its price or the exact date of the start of the service. NBC Universal is certainly a heavyweight in American television, but what are its strengths against VOD services as well established in France as Amazon Prime and Netflix?
Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney +, Apple TV + to name only the biggest: in France, we can say that the offer in terms of video on demand has almost reached saturation. Worse still, young people would abandon streaming services for Tiktok. However, this does not discourage NBCUniversal, which will launch Universal+ on French soil by the end of the year. It has decided to offer its programs in linear, that is to say in traditional broadcasting in real time, or on demand. The American television channel has clearly expansionist aims, since Universal+ has also just opened in South Africa and in countries of sub-Saharan Africa, while spreading throughout the world.
Universal+ content will be offered in a classic TV or on-demand format
To attract these millions of potential customers, Universal+ offers content from the 13ème Rue, Syfy, E! and Dreamworks channels. Such a bouquet should be synonymous with diversity, and will allow subscribers to immerse themselves in old cult series such as BattleStar Galactica or Magnum. Faced with competitors who are now betting on original productions, Stranger Things at Netflix or The Boys at Amazon Prime, for example, the NBCUniversal catalog does not really give in to innovation: one of the new features offered is the reboot of Code Quantum, a series almost thirty years old!
Lee Raftery, managing director of NBCUniversal Europe fully accepts this fact. In an interview with News 24, he recalls that the Universal brand is more than a century old. Faced with young wolves Netflix and other Prime, it has a huge catalog and many classic TV channels that are here to stay. Dreamworks, for example, will offer cartoons that have become classics like Shrek, or Kung Fu Panda on demand, but will also be available in classic streaming. The end of the year is likely to be eventful in the small world of SVOD, since another cinema dinosaur, Paramount, should also formalize its own video streaming service.