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Comcast’s CFO Mike Cavanagh Says Peacock Is Ahead of Expectations So Far

Stephanie Sengwe

Though Peacock is current only available for Comcast subscribers, it seems execs at the company are impressed with how its performing thus far. The streaming service launched on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex on April 15, giving Comcast customers a three-month head start before it launches nationally on July 15.

Now, a month away from launching countrywide, it seems the execs at Comcast are excited to see how the service will be received by the general public. During the Comcast at Credit Suisse Communications Conference today, CFO Mike Cavanagh revealed the service has performed better than expected so far.

“We’ve been releasing in waves across Comcast markets. So it’s super early, but we’re ahead of our internal expectations by a bit. So I think there’s enthusiasm that we got something exciting, and it’ll have to keep iterating and innovating. But so far, so good, and we’re excited to get the national launch done,” he stated.

Though they were expecting to get major viewership and subscribership boosts because of the 2020 Olympics —which had to be postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic — they are still expecting viewership to spike next year.

“On the one hand, it’s a shame that there’s no Olympics this summer,” Cavanagh stated. “Well, the other side of that is by the time we’re kind of ramping and bring back some of the titles like ‘The Office’ in the beginning of next year, then we’ll be in a cycle where we’re going to have a Super Bowl and two Olympics in 18 months. So I think that will be a nice— that will also be a nice window of time to be ramping.”

Cavanagh also spoke about Flex and its position as the streaming industry continues to grow and pay-TV subscribership is plummeting.

“Today, we look at video as important because it’s a customer need and because we’re the broadband provider and because we have the legacy of investing in X1. Maintaining a position of helping in an ever more streaming world, helping customers navigate the video that they choose to buy while offering a bundle that we continue to think for the right customers, is a great value,” he said.

“We’re not wedded to being necessarily the seller of a bundle to you in video, but we would very much if you appreciate either one of our alternatives, a bundle with X1 or a platform approach for video navigation aggregation through Flex. We’d love to be involved in video, but we’re not going to subsidize.”

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