YouTube has been developing an online TV service, to be named "Unplugged," which would cater to cord cutters, or people who are not interested in purchasing a cable subscription.
It seems that the Google-owned video-sharing website is gaining traction in getting the service together, as ESPN, ABC and CBS are expected to be available for the online TV service upon its launch.
The report by The Information added that, while the partnership with the three networks has not yet been finalized, there are other major broadcasters that are also expected to become involved with Unplugged.
YouTube, however, could be looking at passing up partnerships with smaller networks catering to niche markets, such as HGTV, and will instead be looking to replicate the content on these broadcasters by creating similar channels that contain YouTube videos.
Unplugged, according to an earlier report by Bloomberg, is to be one of the biggest priorities of YouTube, with the company already overhauling its technical architecture for the planned service.
YouTube is planning to launch Unplugged as soon as next year, with a monthly subscription fee of less than $35 for a bundle of channels with additional ones to be offered as add-ons.
YouTube Unplugged, however, would find itself entering what is already a crowded space, with players including Dish Network, Hulu and Sony offering customers who do not want cable subscriptions with similar options.
How YouTube would get customers to become interested in Unplugged is still unclear, especially as YouTube's currently available subscription service, YouTube Red, is not taking off as much as the company would want. While YouTube Red's offerings of original shows are different from what customers would be able to watch through YouTube Unplugged, it reveals that YouTube may have a problem getting customers to pay for watching videos.
With most of YouTube's content available for free, and the channels that it would offer under Unplugged also available through other non-cable means, it might continue to be difficult for the platform to convince customers to pay to be able to watch shows on YouTube Unplugged.
Last month, YouTube also launched live streaming for its mobile app, further expanding the kind of content that users can watch on the platform. The feature, which was first made available to certain content creators but will eventually roll out to regular users, places the company in competition with Facebook's Live Video and Twitter's Periscope.