Could Peacock, Paramount+ Stream Together Internationally? ViacomCBS, Comcast Bosses Sit Down For Talks
The heads of both Comcast and ViacomCBS have been meeting in recent weeks to discuss a possible streaming partnership, at least internationally, according to persons familiar with the situation.
According to the Wall Street Journal, at a New York meeting around the end of June, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and ViacomCBS Chair Shari Redstone, along with ViacomCBS CEO Robert Bakish, discussed a variety of possible partnership opportunities that would allow the two companies to enter markets outside the United States together.
The talks have come, according to the WSJ, as both Comcast and ViacomCBS are preparing to broaden their international streaming footprints.
In May, ViacomCBS said that Paramount+, which is set to launch next month in Australia, would be available in 45 markets by 2022.
According to Roberts, Comcast is looking at crafting partnerships with local programmers and distributors in overseas markets in an effort to expand Peacock, the service launched by its NBCUniversal division in the United States. Comcast’s Sky unit in Europe also has a streaming division of its own.
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 “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. Starting Nov. 30, Premium Plus subscribers will be able to stream their local NBC feed in all 210 markets.
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.
While some Wall Street analysts said that ViacomCBS and Comcast have been potential merger candidates at some point, according to the Journal, Roberts has been eyeing potential acquisition targets for Comcast — including ViacomCBS. The Journal said that Roberts has told people that he does not feel the need to seek a merger.
The WSJ says both Comcast and ViacomCBS were relative latecomers to the streaming game in relation to their competitors and are trying to make up for lost ground both in the United States and internationally.
Peacock has built up a significant audience for ad-supported programming, but continues to grow its subscription business subtantially, according to sources close to the company. In late April, Comcast said Peacock had 42 million sign-ups. According to the Journal, less than 10 million people had paid for the service as of late May.
Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 40,000+ TV show episodes from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and more. The lineup includes “1883,” “Tulsa King,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and MTV’s “Laguna Beach.” From well-loved franchises to compelling originals, Paramount+ offers a great library worth streaming. Live NFL games are included. The service also offers the option to watch your live CBS affiliate.
Subscribers can choose between the Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with the Premium Plan for $9.99/month. Subscribers can add Showtime to either plan for an additional fee.
With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time lineup, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.
With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate.
With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.
The service was previously called CBS All Access.
The $4.99 premium version of Peacock is is free for Comcast pay-TV and broadband subscribers and is also available to Cox Cable subscribers.
A potential international partnership with ViacomCBS could involve both Peacock and Sky, according to the WSJ report.
ViacomCBS said in May the company has 35.9 to its subscripion-based streaming services — Paramount+, Showtime, and BET+. Its ad-supported Pluto TV streaming service has 49.5 million active users monthly with a total streaming revenue that reached $816 million in the third quarter, according to the Journal.
The Journal said that before ViacomCBS launched Paramount+ earlier this year, Comcast proposed the idea of the two companies joining forces on streaming. ViacomCBS was not interested at the time.