Last month, NBC Universal unveiled their new streaming service, Peacock. The service, which previously announced it will debut in April 2020, will be the exclusive home for ‘The Office’ (January 2021) and ‘Parks and Recreation’ (October 2020).
Today, on their Q3 Earnings Call, NBCU CEO Steve Burke confirmed that they would be taking a different approach than Disney when it comes to their streaming service. Instead of pulling all new releases from premium platforms like Disney did with Netflix, Roberts says they won’t be “taking all of our movies off of premium platforms like HBO or Sky.”
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+.
Whether Universal decides to extend their current deal with HBO, or another premium TV player seems likely based on Burke’s remarks. With Warner Bros. launching HBO Max, Universal’s theatrical content is even more desirable from the premium streamer.
While details around pricing for ‘Peacock’ hasn’t been revealed, the service is expected to be free to anyone who subscribes to a pay TV service. Burke says this will help them get to a “cruising altitude much more quickly than a subscription service.” Similar to Hulu though, the service will offer an ad-free tier for an additional fee — which has been previously reported at $10+.