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Comcast CFO Says Peacock Has Performed Well Despite Challenges In Past Year

Michael King

Peacock has faced a number of challenges over the past year, including the pandemic, and even the lack of the capability to produce its own content. Despite the challenges Peacock has faced, including COVID-19, Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh says the streamer has performed well.

“I think for a year or so out of the gates in COVID with all the issues we’ve had and the inability to create original content, we’re pleased with what we’re seeing in Peacock,” he said. “We’re really pleased with what we’re seeing. We’re learning as we go.”

In July, Universal shifted its streaming distribution rights away from HBO and HBO Max in order to put its new releases on Peacock. As a part of this new deal, Universal is placing new releases on Peacock for the first four months of the 18-month pay-one window, which has historically been 120 days after the initial theatrical release.

The films will be available on Peacock for four months at the beginning and end of the 18-month window while going to other distribution partnersNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, and IMDb TVin between.

Asked about this during a Bank of America Securities conference on Tuesday morning, Cavanagh said the power of Universal’s resources is incredible.

“I think it speaks to the point that our road to streaming is going to be our own road. We’ll do what makes sense to us,” he said. “Innovation around windowing is sort of going to be part of what makes us successful over time, we believe.”

Peacock

Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that gives access to up to 15,000 hours of content including original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series.

It will include news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.

Just like other streaming services, Peacock will have their own original series including reboots of Save By The Bell, Punky Brewster, and Battlestar Galactica. They also have shows like Rutherford Falls (Ed Helms), Dr. Death (Alec Baldwin), and a behind-the-scenes docs-series about Saturday Night Live.

The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like the entire Dick Wolf library including Law & Order and Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

The service will also feature blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.

Under the outgoing arrangement WarnerMedia, HBO Max has the rights to stream Universal Pictures films roughly nine months after they leave theaters. That deal expires at the conclusion of 2021.

The new deal includes Universal, Focus Features, Illumination, and DreamWorks Animation films. While this year’s blockbuster F9 will still go to HBO, next year’s Jurassic World: Dominion will head to Peacock.

“We served a lot of our different strategic purposes in the rewindowing that we did,” Cavanagh said. “I think that gives us the chance to use that powerful content to help drive Peacock, while at the same time, doing what we said all along.”

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