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Universal Will Shift New Release Movies from HBO to Peacock Starting in 2022

Jason Gurwin

Earlier this year, it was reported that NBCUniversal might end their distribution deal with HBO in order to put new release movies on Peacock.

With the deal ending at the end of 2021, NBCUniversal has decided to shift all Universal movies to Peacock during the pay-one window, which historically has 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 partners in between.

This isn’t quite the shrinking of windows that we’ve seen from other streaming partners. ViacomCBS will be release all new Paramount films on Paramount+ just 45 days after their theatrical debut. Disney+ has released new release films as part of Premier Access ($30), the same day as theaters, while offering them at no additional cost 3 months after their theatrical release. HBO Max has released Warner Bros. movies the same day as theaters, but starting next year that will be at least 45 days.

“Since launching Peacock just one year ago, we have seen incredible viewership of movies and continue to expand our catalog with a range of films for every fan and occasion,” said Matt Strauss, Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International, NBCUniversal. “Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has been a fantastic partner and we are excited to not only bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock in the first-pay window, but also provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.”

Under the current arrangement, HBO Max has the rights to stream Universal Pictures films roughly nine months after they leave theaters. Netflix has a similar deal for Illumination Entertainment movies like “The Secret Life of Pets” and the “Despicable Me” franchises. Both of those deals were to expire at the end of this year.

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.

Universal Studios and HBO reached a $2B, 10-year output deal back in 2013 which sees their films go to HBO in the first pay-TV window. A similar shorter-term deal was signed between Netflix and Disney that went into effect at the end of 2015, but Disney decided not to renew in order to launch Disney+.

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