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YouTube planning to launch Unplugged live TV service, report says

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YouTube Kids

YouTube is planning a subscription television service called Unplugged, according to reports.

Bloomberg says YouTube Unplugged will offer a range of cable TV channels, available to stream over the internet, with the firm targeting a 2017 launch.

The sources say YouTube has been working on the idea for more than three years and remains in talks with content providers.

According to the report, the Google-owned company is yet to pin down agreements with the likes of NBC Universal, Fox and Viacom.

The same issues have plagued Apple’s efforts to get a similar service off the ground over the last year. Content owners have been reluctant to unbundle their channels to offer them as part of a so-called "skinny" Apple TV bundle.

Whether YouTube is offering better terms, or proposing an alternative solution, remains to be seen.

Related: YouTube Red explained

The Bloomberg report says the company is planning to bundle premium channels while offering themed add-ons featuring lesser-watched stations.

If Google were able to get Unplugged off the ground, it would join Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue in the market.

Just today, the Hulu streaming platform announced plans to begin streaming live TV.

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