NBCUniversal Chief Jeff Shell Says Peacock Has 15 Million Subscribers, Confirms Possible Primetime Return to Affiliates
In an interview with CNBC, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said Peacock has now reached 15 million paying subscribers and he also confirmed reports that the company was considering possibly making the 10 p.m. to affiliates.
The 14-minute encounter with David Faber (watch it above) covered a number of other hot topics, including the movie industry.
No More Deadline
Regarding the 10 p.m. move, a scenario that rocked a number of stakeholders when it surfaced a few weeks ago, Shell said no final decision had been made. But the company intends to “reallocate resources” to areas of the business that are growing, he said.
Peacock had stalled at 13 million subscribers in the quarter ending June 30. NBCU’s parent company, Comcast, will release official third-quarter numbers in the coming weeks. The company implemented a series of efforts to drive growth, including a significant price cut, reclaiming the rights to shows that used to air on Hulu, and stocking the service with more live sports.
Looking ahead to Peacock’s launch in mid-2020, Shell said, the streaming market looked “frozen”. As a result, the company opted for a dual model with an ad-supported free tier and a premium tier.
Peacock has now reached 30 million monthly active accounts, Shell added, which is in line with forecasts of 30 to 35 million by 2025 offered by NBCU ahead of Peacock’s launch.
Universal Pictures and specialty arm Focus Features have pursued a one-size-fits-all release strategy since the onset of Covid in early 2020, mixing day-and-date and pure streaming releases with some titles remaining in theaters for a while. The company also took over one-time payment rights and now gives Peacock that first stop after digital sales and VOD, as opposed to third-party premium cable. The flexibility of the windows — which had remained rigid for years until the pandemic forced changes — was a tailwind for NBCU, Shell said.
“This construction of windowing combined with the fact that streamers really want movies, movies are driving platforms, has, in my opinion, economically improved the movie industry,” the exec said. NBCU, he argued, “makes twice as many movies as our nearest competitors, and we buy all that content and move it into Peacock to establish the streaming service.”
Best of Deadline
Sign up for the Deadline newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Click here to read the full article.