‘30 Rock’ Set to Leave Peacock in Next Month; Where Will You Be Able to Stream it Next?
“30 Rock” fans who enjoy watching it on Peacock had better get through their next binge-watch quickly. According to a countdown posted on the show’s page on the platform, the Tina Fey-led series is leaving Peacock on April 14, a mere 28 days from the time of this writing.
The show is a workplace comedy that takes viewers behind the scenes of a fictional version of NBC and a late-night variety show akin to “Saturday Night Live.” From the executive vice president of East Coast programming down to the lowly pages who guide tours and get coffee, “30 Rock” reveals the dizzying highs and the subterranean lows of working in TV. The series was created by Fey, who also stars as the cheerful but often luckless comedy writer Liz Lemon.
So where will you be able to stream “30 Rock” after it leaves Peacock? There’s been no official announcement from NBC, but the series is still available in full on Hulu, though NBC pulled most of its next-day content from that streamer in fall of 2022. There’s no countdown indicating it will be removed from Hulu, and though that could change, it looks as if “30 Rock” will stay there for now.
The fact that the show is leaving Peacock might be a surprise to some fans, especially since it was an NBC show to begin with. But media companies licensing shows that they produced and originally aired is quite common in the industry, especially as they look for ways to increase revenue. While Peacock executives have been open about the importance of library series to keep consumers engaged between originals, sometimes the most popular series can generate more money on the open market than they can in subscriber revenue.
Also, licensing contracts are often very complicated and involve numerous different stakeholders. For example, despite being called Netflix Originals, the world’s largest streamer has had to say goodbye to many series in recent years — like “Hemlock Grove” in October 2022 — because their original licensing deals with the studio that produced it expired. Netflix recently lost the streaming rights to “Arrested Development” temporarily, despite the fact that it commissioned Seasons 4 and 5. The comedy is back on the streamer in full.
Like “30 Rock,” Seasons 1-3 of “Arrested Development” are also available to stream on Hulu.
NBC may have decided a licensing deal would be more lucrative than keeping “30 Rock” in-house on Peacock. The show is a classic example of “lean-back” entertainment that makes up 80% of TV viewing in the United States, according to FX chairman John Landegraf. It’s the perfect background show to have on while viewers do other activities, but the problem for Peacock is it has so many of those type of series. With “The Office,” “Parks and Rec,” “That ’70s Show,” and dozens of others available on the service, it’s possible that the service felt that it had enough of this subgenre of streaming content and could make more money from “30 Rock” elsewhere.
Could this perhaps be a sign that NBC’s parent company Comcast is considering buying the rest of Hulu from its current majority shareholder Disney? Making a beloved comedy series like “30 Rock” exclusively available on Hulu would certainly help to start building an association between the two brands again, and Comcast recently signaled it is open to many different possibilities with the 33% of Hulu it currently owns. There’ll have to be other big signs before it’s safe to say Comcast’s interest in buying Hulu is ramping up, but this could be an initial move in that process.
Perhaps the series is destined for Xumo Play, the free streaming platform Comcast is building as a joint venture with Charter that has both companies buzzing. Xumo Play already offers hundreds of free streaming channels, and “30 Rock” would be a perfect addition to its lineup.
The removal of “30 Rock” from Peacock on April 14 is most likely an indication that NBC has licensed it to another platform or the licensing deal that had it there in the first place is about to expire. But there are certainly other possibilities, and whether it appears on a new streaming service besides Hulu will bear watching.
Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that includes original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series. Peacock is home to “Yellowstone,” and “The Office,” as well as original hits like “Poker Face” and “Bel-Air.” You can also watch live sports including Sunday Night Football, Premier League, and exclusive MLB games. Peacock is also the exclusive home to many WWE events like WrestleMania. Premium Plus subscribers can stream their local NBC feed in all 210 markets.
Peacock includes news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.
Peacock also includes the entire library of Bravo shows and has exclusives like “Below Deck: Down Under.” They also include live and on-demand access to Hallmark channels.
The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like “Parks and Recreation,” and the entire Dick Wolf library including “Law & Order” and “Chicago Fire.”
The service also features blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.