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Peacock to Stream 2021 and 2022 Eurovision Song Contest Live

Derek Walborn

U.S. fans of Eurovision can rejoice! The annual European song contest has found a home on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service.

Beginning today, Tuesday 18 May, the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest will be available to stream exclusively on Peacock in the United States, both live and on-demand. Here’s the schedule:

First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 18 May, 2021, 3:00 pm ET
Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 20 May, 2021, 3:00 pm ET
Grand Final: Saturday, 22 May, 2021, 3:00 pm ET

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event. It is organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The competition, in which participating member broadcasters of the EBU send a new song to represent their nation, takes place annually in the country that won the previous edition.

Thirty-nine broadcasters are taking part in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, following the Netherlands’ win with the song “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence in 2019. The Eurovision Song Contest has taken place every year since 1956, except in 2020, when the event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Over the years, 27 countries have won the competition at least once.

It’s a unique, and possibly strategically sound acquisition for Peacock, as the 2019 competition reached over 180 million TV viewers in over 40 countries, and millions more online. Along with the 2021 edition, the NBCUniversal-owned streamer has also acquired rights to the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest.

The streaming service, launching with almost no original content and banking fully last year on its exclusive rights to the eventually-postponed 2020 Olympic Games, is still working to beef up its roster of programming.

While adding “The Office” and WWE Network under its banner has worked in its favor, the service has been suffering from the void left in the absence of the Olympics last year, and it’s still not out of the woods with regard to how or even if the Summer Olympic Games will take place this year.

A partnership with Twitch looking to bring Olympics content to a younger audience is a refreshingly forward-thinking move for the company, but may do little to offset the fact that Peacock won’t be showing the games in 4K, and the streaming service left WWE fans looking for a rematch after botching a much-hyped WrestleMania event.

While Eurovision’s appearance on Peacock is clearly meant for U.S. audiences, it speaks to the homogenization of entertainment the world over, as streaming services not only push into global markets in order to gain a foothold on new audiences but also bring international content back home to American viewers who are growing in their appreciation of programming that has thus far, been decidedly foreign — most notably with fuboTV making big inroads when it comes to bringing World Cup content to the U.S. market.

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