NBCUniversal is launching an SVOD comedy network called Seeso, offering a mix of NBCU comedy series, standup, films and original productions. Seeso will cost $3.99 a month and is scheduled to debut in January.
Evan Shapiro, NBCU executive VP of digital enterprises, says Seeso marries “the best parts of linear television and the best parts of OTT,” adding that comedy is a “big niche” to tap subscribers from.
NBCU likens the product to a “comedy-only version of Netflix,” with programming curated by humans, not by algorithm.
The ad-free channel from NBCU’s Digital Enterprises division will be available at seeso.com and on mobile platforms. Features include Autoplay, where “viewsers”, as Shapiro puts it, get immediate content as they arrive at the site, and a hunt-while-you-watch function.
“Big streaming services have created a paradox of choice—they’re great if you know exactly what to watch, but if you aren’t in the middle of a binge, the search can be near endless,” said Shapiro. “By focusing on a specific, yet large, niche, and providing a curated experience, we can help viewsers find good stuff they might not or cannot find. Seeso is your neighborhood comedy eatery, with daily specials from a chef you trust.”
The name suggests Seeso’s curators steering a user toward more comedy—they came to see one show, so here’s something else they might enjoy.
Seeso offers more than 20 original series, including ones from laff luminaries Dan Harmon and Wyatt Cenac, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus remastered in HD, along with all other Python programming. Besides late night series Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers, library content includes 30 Rock and The Office, as well as movies that include The Big Lebowski and The Blues Brothers.
Seeso also offers, besides the Python catalogue, a big batch of British-accented comedy, including Alan Partridge and Black Adder.
Shapiro promises a “frictionless” sign-on and a free trial that does not require credit card authorization. The channel, he says, captures “the great DNA and historical legacy of NBC comedy.”
The venture is designed to “not just protect the ecosystem, but to grow it,” adds Shapiro.