CuriosityStream Cuts Deal with NCTC

CuriosityStream, the subscription VOD service founded by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, will be seeking distribution deals with hundreds of tier 2/3 cable opera taros after forging a deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC).

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The agreement, focused on NCTC’s membership of 850-plus indie operators that serve nearly 9 million subs, will enable those operators to offer CuriosityStream’s offering of more than 1,500 documentaries, via their VOD service and through a streaming app that supports a wide range of mobile and TV-connected platforms.

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Plans are also underway to integrate CuriosityStream’s app on certain operator-supplied set-top box platforms later this year, they said. 

Pricing of the SVOD service through the NCTC deal wasn’t announced, but CuriosityStream’s stand-alone, retail OTT offering starts at $2.99 per month for a “Basic” standard-def tier, while Standard (which supports HD) runs $5.99, and its Premium tier, with access to the service’s 4K library, runs $11.99 per month.

CuriosityStream, a service launched in March 2015, has not announced subscriber numbers. However, the NCTC agreement builds on its strategy to work with various types of distributors. Those partners include Comcast, Layer3 TV (now part of T-Mobile), Sling TV, Amazon Channels and VRV, the Ellation-owned SVOD aggregation/bundling service.   

The CuriosityStream deal also expands on the NCTC’s focus on helping its members work with or integrate new services from the OTT world. As part of an effort to help those members have a video option for broadband-only customers, the NCTC has recently signed deals with two virtual MVPDs – fuboTV and PlayStation Vue.

The NCTC-CuriosityStream agreement was announced in concert with this week’s NCTC Winter Educational Conference in San Antonio. At a session today, panelists urged operators to tighten their ties to SVOD services that can enhance or complement their pay TV offerings.

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"CuriosityStream is proud to partner with NCTC to give its members and their enormous customer base easy access to the world's greatest collection of non-fiction programming that empowers viewers to satisfy their curiosity about their favorite subjects," Clint Stinchcomb, chief distribution officer for CuriosityStream, said in a statement.