Discovery is planning a streaming service — but it won’t be ready for several years

Honey Boo Boo

Discovery Communications, which owns channels like TLC and the Discovery Channel, is planning a streaming service that could give existing cable subscribers access to recent episodes of shows like Here Comes Honey Boo BooToddlers and Tiaras and My Cat from Hell — or whichever shows are popular in a couple of years, since the service isn’t launching for awhile. But even today, the service doesn’t sound like a great deal.

Discovery’s executive chairman John Hendricks told Reuters that the service is still in the early development stages and may not be ready for two to five years. It would focus on “TV shows on Discovery’s networks that are between three and 18 months old” because Netflix and Amazon Prime only have Discovery shows that are older than 18 months.

But Discovery’s offering doesn’t even sound particularly appealing right now — and it’s hard to imagine that it will seem more compelling a couple of years from now, when people will presumably have even more streaming and cord-cutting options than they have today.

As it’s described now — and, to be fair, it could change — the streaming service would not be something that viewers could pay for à la carte. Rather, it would be available to customers who already get Discovery shows through cable and are willing to pay an extra several dollars a month for streaming access to recent (but not new) episodes of those shows. In that way, it would be unlike HBO Go, which adds new episodes immediately after they air. Plus, HBO Go is free to existing HBO subscribers.

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