NBCU has officially terminated its content-sharing deal to have next-day reruns stream on Hulu. Starting in September, subscribers will need a Peacock subscription to watch next-day reruns of NBC shows.
Comcast still owns about a third of Hulu, but its content sharing plans seem to have shifted in favor of its wholly-owned Peacock. Now, after airing on NBC, the shows will become exclusive to Peacock, which could make Hulu less valuable to some subscribers and Peacock a more desirable option. This move doesn’t come as a surprise. Comcast's CEO hinted at it as early as last September.
New episodes of NBCU shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “The Voice,” “American Auto,” “Law & Order: Organized Crime” — along with the rest of NBC’s broadcast and cable lineup for the 2022-23 season — will no longer be available to stream on the Disney-owned service. It’s not clear as to what other shows will be removed from Hulu.
However, Hulu will continue to have rights to some of NBCU’s catalog content for several more years. This includes “Law & Order: SVU,” “This Is Us,” “The Mindy Project,” “30 Rock,” “Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Will & Grace,” as well as new international series “Bloods” and “Creamerie.”
In a statement to The Streamable, a Disney spokesperson said,
“With the proliferation of streaming services entering the marketplace, we have long anticipated changes to our third-party content offering and over the past few years have increased our investment in original content, including popular and award-nominated titles like Only Murders in the Building, Dopesick, Reservation Dogs, How I Met Your Father, and the Academy Award-nominated Summer of Soul. As a leading destination for breakthrough storytelling, we continue to transform Hulu into an exclusive home for stories from across The Walt Disney Company and beyond to bring our viewers even more premium content led by Hulu Originals and next-day television programming.”
For a while now, NBCU and parent company Comcast have wanted to increase the number of paying subscribers to its struggling Peacock service. At the end of 2021, the service had 9 million paying subscribers out of a total of 24.5 million monthly active accounts. Hulu had 40.9 million subscribed to its on-demand service, excluding people who use Hulu Live TV.
The drastic difference in subscribers may have put pressure on NBCU’s plans. This year, Comcast is doubling its content spending for Peacock to $3 billion, and the service is trying to establish itself as a destination for live sports with the English Premier League. The company will also bet $5 billion on domestic content for the streamer over the next couple of years.
In 2024, Disney can gain complete control over Hulu, and the smart money is that the service will simply fold into Disney+ the way adult-skewing content lives on the service under the Star tab in international markets.
This isn’t to say that NBCUniversal shows may not reappear on Hulu or some other service in the future. Comcast’s CFO said that the company plans to shop its movies around after an exclusive Peacock run. That could extend to TV as well.
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. Peacock is home to “Yellowstone,” and “The Office,” as well as original hits like “Bel-Air.”
Peacock also now includes the entire library of Bravo shows and has exclusives like “Below Deck: Down Under.”
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.”
You can also watch live sports including Sunday Night Football, Premier League, and exclusive MLB games.
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.