September 15, 2020
NBCUniversal’s upstart SVOD/AVOD streaming video platform, Peacock, has surpassed 15 million subscribers, Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts Sept. 15 told a virtual investor event. Peacock topped 10 million subs six weeks after launching nationwide in July.
“That’s 50% more than just six weeks ago,” Roberts said from his home on the Goldman Sachs 29th Annual Communicopia Conference. The CEO said the convergence of entertainment distribution between media and tech companies across multiple platforms has become an ongoing reality — driven by broadband and streaming video.
“We saw this coming and feel we are one of the best companies to play offense in this environment,” Roberts said.
Indeed, as Comcast continues to hemorrhage pay-TV subscribers (477,000 in Q2), the cable operator has quietly become one of the world’s largest ISPs and (broadband) distributors — adding 1.6 million high-speed Internet subscribers in the past 12 months, to end Q2 with 29.4 million subs. Roberts said that Comcast-owned satellite TV operator Sky is now the No. 2 broadband provider in Italy and Germany.
The executive said that Comcast would bring two Olympic Games and the Super Bowl to NBC over the next 18 months, in addition to Peacock. Roberts envisions the hybrid SVOD/AVOD platform to be complementary to pay-TV and not necessarily an all-or-nothing replacement.
“Peacock is big part of the ecosystem but not the only part,” Roberts said, adding that content development going forward would be distributed in the channel delivering it the most consumer retention.
“First and foremost develop content that resonates and then determine maybe its for network and Peacock, maybe just Peacock, and maybe we’ll go across all three: broadcast, broadband and Peacock,” he said. “We think that gets us a better focus on decision making.”