Peacock Streaming Service Added 4 Million Q1 Subs, Total Sub Base Reached 13 Million

NBCUniversal’s Peacock hybrid subscription streaming, ad-supported platform added 4 million paying subscribers in the first quarter (ended March 31), to bring its total paying base to 13 million. The service ended the period with 28 million active accounts.

The sub growth, combined with Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max’s 3 million new subs, marks a strong contrast to the 200,000 respective sub loss at market leader Netflix.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, speaking on the fiscal call, attributed Peacock’s sub gain to the fact that the platform had live access to the 2022 Bejing Winter Olympics, Super Bowl LVI, the premiere of Will Smith-produced “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reboot “Bel-Air,” and theatrical hit Marry Me, the romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson.

“These events were viewed by more than 200 million people in the U.S. across NBCUniversal’s platforms, including Peacock, which had an exceptional quarter,” Roberts said.

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Discovery+ Streaming Platform Drove Record Beijing Winter Olympics Viewership in Europe

Discovery Feb. 23 reported record Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games viewership and engagement on its digital platforms, as the household appeal of the media company’s Discovery+ subscription streaming video platform drove 50% higher viewer consumption compared to the South Korea PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018.

The Discovery+ streaming service launched in January 2021.

While Comcast/NBC Sports has exclusive U.S. rights to the broadcast and digital distribution of the Winter and Summer Olympic Games, Discovery has the European distribution rights. Beijing 2022 was available to watch on Discovery+ in Denmark, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In all other European markets, except Russia, Beijing 2022 was available on Discovery-owned Eurosport’s digital services.

Discovery presented Olympic Winter Games in 50 markets in Europe featuring 11 national productions and coverage in 19 languages.

More than 156 million Europeans visited Discovery’s platforms with more than 1 billion streaming minutes consumed, 19 times more than the last Olympic Winter Games. Discovery+ and Eurosport streaming services saw eight times more streaming viewers during the Games as users consumed more than double the content with average consumption exceeding seven hours per viewer. The same trend was seen on linear television with viewers on average watching 24% longer than PyeongChang 2018.

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Ad-supported Eurosport.com, and its local country editions, reached more than double the number of users compared to the same period.

Building on a strong first week, Eurosport’s average linear audiences remained resilient and were in line with the last winter edition despite double digit reductions in total TV usage since 2018. High audience shares on Discovery’s free-to-air networks in the Nordic markets continued with highs of 88% (Norway), 83% (Sweden) and 82% (Finland).

Eurosport channels saw significant audience and share growth in many key markets — including Poland (up 36%), Romania (up 23%) and Italy (up 250%) — and Discovery’s channels across both free-to-air and pay-TV saw an overall increase in audience share.

“The Winter Olympics has proven to be a terrific success for discovery+ and all our channels and platforms across Europe,” Jean-Briac Perrette, CEO of Discovery streaming and international, said in a statement. “Well over half of all new Olympics subscribers also enjoyed Discovery+’s entertainment content, reinforcing the increased depth and value of our offering. These subscribers remain engaged and retained for longer, which meaningfully improves subscriber lifetime value.”

iSpot: Super Bowl LVI Drives Highest Beijing Winter Olympics Viewership Moment

The Super Bowl continues to generate massive viewership regardless of consumer viewing habits and devices. It also drives record viewership to other programming.

The Feb. 13 Super Bowl LVI, featuring the Los Angeles Rams’ comeback 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, saw viewership across NBC Sports, Telemundo and the Peacock streaming platform reach nearly 150 million, according to new data from iSpot.tv’s second-by-second cross-platform measurement.

NBCUniversal-owned networks accounted for 69% of all household ad impressions for the day. NBC delivered 6.4 billion TV ad impressions across its full broadcast day, including pre-game broadcasts and Beijing Winter Olympics programming, marking the first time a Super Bowl and Winter Olympics took place at the same time

The largest average viewership came at 10:50 p.m. ET, Kaillie Humphries won gold for Team USA in the women’s monobob, when 27.5 million viewers tuned in, making it the peak moment across the entire Olympic Games thus far.

Super Bowl LVI telecast/streaming option, which ran from 6:33 to 10:09 ET, drew an average minute audience of 121 million viewers that tuned in to watch in homes and public venues across America.

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Full Game Insights:

The data suggested that the total linear average minute viewership was 98.1 million, including 2.9 million average minute viewers on Telemundo, which contributed to a total in-home reach of 134.5 million people on NBCU networks.

The average streaming minute audience was 10.5 million viewers and 15.5 million total viewers, which includes sensor-level streaming viewership data from CTV, mobile and tablet consumption provided in partnership with Conviva.

More than 70% of those streaming the Super Bowl came from “cord-cutters” or households without bundled pay-TV service. The total out-of-home average audience for the Super Bowl was 12.5 million, as measured via iSpot’s partnership with Tunity Analytics.

The Super Bowl’s 81 national ads accounted for more than 40% of all TV ad impressions on linear TV for Feb. 13. The average ad reached 106 million viewers, while the game generated 4.39 billion verified household ad impressions across all platforms in 216 minutes.

During the Super Bowl, the commercial attention rate was 36% higher than the average across all networks and shows on the day, and the commercial completion rate was 98.6%. ISpot found ads increased purchase intent to 47%, while 60% of the ads were funny, 53% sparked curiosity, and 47% prompted nostalgia.

Halftime Time Results:

Viewership peaked during the halftime show — featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem, with an overall increase of 12% or 10.5 million net new average minute viewers.

Ads that ran during the halftime show generated an average viewership of 116.8 million verified impressions for in-home viewing.

The animated two-minute NFL ad at 8:08 pm during the halftime show had the highest in-home audience at 119 million viewers across NBC, Telemundo and Peacock. The persistent attention to the telecast of the game afforded advertisers a completion rate peak of 99.5%, just before the start of the third quarter.

Discovery+ Sees More Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Viewers After Four Days Than Entire PyeongChang 2018 Games

The opening week of competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games drove significant increases in viewer engagement on the Discovery+ streaming platform and Eurosport digital services, as well as strong overall linear viewership across Europe, according to corporate parent Discovery Inc.

Discovery is presenting the Beijing Winter Olympics in 50 markets in Europe (excluding Russia), featuring 11 national productions and coverage in 19 languages. Comcast controls U.S. broadcast and streaming rights.

The media company, which is about to consummate its operational control acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T, said eight times more viewers are streaming Olympic content compared to the same period for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea with total new paid subscribers to Discovery’s streaming services already surpassing 2018 with a week of competition still to go.

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Nearly three-quarters of a billion streaming minutes have been consumed on Discovery’s subscription services so far, more than 18 times higher than the same period of PyeongChang 2018. Average minutes consumed per viewer across discovery+ and Eurosport streaming services has more than doubled, as well as people on average watching 29% longer on television vs PyeongChang 2018.

Discovery said its free Olympic news and short video clips on Eurosport.com have more than doubled their reach as well.

Meanwhile, Eurosport’s average linear audiences remain strong and are in line with the last Olympic Winter Games, despite total TV usage being down more than 10% since 2018. Linear television audience shares in the Nordics, including Sweden and Norway where Discovery is both the pay-tv and free-to-air broadcaster, remain strong versus PyeongChang 2018 with continued results reaching highs of 87% (Norway), 83% (Sweden) and 71% (Finland).

“The Olympics … is reaffirming the power and value of integrating sports into our Discovery+ entertainment service,” Jean-Briac Perrette, CEO of Discovery Streaming & International, said in a statement.

Perrette said that beyond attracting a significant number of new SVOD subscribers, sports help broaden streaming’s appeal and provide consumers a more retentive value proposition.

“Through just this first week, more than a third of new discovery+ Olympics subscribers have already consumed other entertainment content on the platform,” he said.

Since the start of the Games, nearly twice as many people have visited the ad-supported Eurosport.com site, together with its multiple local country versions, compared to the same stage of PyeongChang 2018.

“The audience and engagement growth we have experienced during the opening week of the Games really demonstrates the additional value Discovery brings to its audiences and partners,” said Andrew Georgiou, president of sports at Discovery. “Through our network of free-to-air, Eurosport, discovery+ and free digital and social platforms, we are driving more people to our Olympic content for longer.”

Conviva: 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Streaming Viewership Up 349%, TV Viewership Down

Despite a heightened geopolitical backdrop, including a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Feb. 3-20 to protest China’s human rights record, the Games are hit thus far on streaming video.

New data from Conviva found that streaming for the opening ceremony spiked 349% over 2018 opening ceremony — the massive growth in single-daytime spent streaming on the day of the 2022 Olympics opening ceremony as compared to 2018’s Pyeongchang opening ceremony in South Korea.

NBC Sports reported that it tracked 16 million viewers across broadcast and digital platforms, including Peacock. That’s down 43% from 23.8 million who tuned into the 2018 opening ceremony — when Peacock didn’t exist. The downward viewership trend mirrors a 36% drop for last summer’s delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics opening ceremony compared with the 2016 opening ceremony.

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With Peacock launching in July 2020, and owner Comcast affording the streaming platform live access to every minute of the Beijing Games, over-the-top viewership has skyrocketed.

Coniva found that tablets got the gold medal at the opening ceremony — accounting for 28% user share to tie connected-TV devices. Additionally, 55% of viewers preferred watching the opening ceremony on Apple iPads.

Meanwhile, Twitter leads thus far in Olympics-related social media buzz, while Instagram leads engagement. Twitter led all social platforms in volume of content posted accounting for 37% share, while Instagram delivered the most engaged audience with 66 of all engagements for Olympic committee accounts in the week leading up to the Winter Olympics.

Social media engagement is up 370% for national Olympics accounts — official Olympic committee accounts from over 120 different countries tallied a 370% increase in engagements compared to the average for the previous six weeks.

Notably, Team USA highlighted the first Indigenous woman to play for USA Hockey in the top-performing Facebook post.

Amdocs: Nearly 40% of Consumers Undecided/Plan to Skip Watching Beijing Winter Olympics

With the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics officially beginning today, new data from Amdocs suggests the quadrennial event will again dominate consumer attention over the next two weeks, despite ongoing political and social concerns regarding the Games host country China.

In a December 2021 survey of 1,000 respondents, 10% said they would skip watching the Games due to politics, while 27% said they remained undecided whether to tune in. Given the time difference in Beijing, 24% of respondents indicated they would be less likely to watch if they saw a highlight ahead of the broadcast. Indeed, 31% said they are frustrated when they see event outcomes before the event’s primetime viewing slot.

“We saw similar responses around the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, with 40% echoing these sentiments,” read the report. “The time zone differences are impacting if/what they’ll watch, too.”

That said, 50% of respondents still plan to tune into the events, 29% plan to stream the competition and 16% plan to follow the games via social media. The majority (68%) will watch via traditional TV, while 52% said they would pay more money to have every event available on demand.

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Another 21% of respondents said they were “bothered” they don’t have access to all events with their cable/streaming provider, while 23% would pay extra to watch the games with interactive services like augmented reality and virtual reality.

Comcast Providing Live 8K Virtual Reality Coverage of the Beijing Winter Olympics

Comcast and NBCUniversal Feb. 4 announced the launch of the NBC Olympics VR by Xfinity app. Available for the first time in 8K resolution, the app (which is limited to pay-TV subscribers with an 8K-compatible TV) will feature more than 150 hours of live and on demand interactive virtual reality coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games, which officially begin today (Feb. 4).

“We strive to create innovative viewing experiences so immersive it rivals being at the Winter Olympics live,” Sophia Ahmad, EVP of Xfinity Consumer Services, said in a statement.

Developed in collaboration with product and technical teams across NBCUniversal and Comcast, the app leverages technical VR innovations from both companies.

“Our 8K virtual reality experience for the Winter Games will offer users a one-of-a-kind viewing experience where they feel as if they’re fully immersed in their favorite sports,” said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics.

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VR/8K coverage includes live and on-demand coverage of figure skating, hockey and snowboarding. Select events will offer viewers the option to switch between different cameras to get alternative vantage points.

Coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, where viewers will have an athlete-level view of the event and get to experience the rush of walking for their country as an Olympian.

Features and highlights from 10 additional sports throughout the Games, including alpine skiing, bobsled and speed skating.

Viewers can also host a virtual Olympics watch party and invite up to three friends to join their virtual suite where they can interact together as if they were in the same room. The NBC Olympics VR by Xfinity app is now available to download from the Meta Quest 2 app store.

Peacock Begins Complete 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Live-Streaming Coverage

NBCUniversal’s streaming platform Peacock Feb. 3 began streaming coverage of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics — the first-ever start-to-finish over-the-top video access to the Olympics.

With the Games officially starting Feb. 4, Peacock is offering premium-tier subscribers live competition streams across all 15 sports, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, NBC’s nightly primetime show, full replays of all competition available immediately upon conclusion, exclusive daily studio programming, medal ceremonies and extensive highlight clips.

“This [streaming] approach provides the American audience with a dynamic, easy-to-use Olympic viewing hub where not a single moment, live or on-demand, will be missed,” Molly Solomon, executive producer of  NBC Olympics & Paralympics, said in a statement.

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Team USA is expected to feature many top medal contenders, including three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White (snowboarding), 2018 Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim (snowboarding), two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin (alpine skiing), three-time world champion Nathan Chen (figure skating), and 2018 Olympian Erin Jackson (speed skating). The reigning Olympic champion U.S. women’s ice hockey team are gold medal contenders and other U.S. team sports, such as curling, are expected to challenge for medals as well.

Peacock is currently available on the Roku platform; Amazon FireTV and Fire tablets; Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices, including Android, Android TV devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4 and PlayStation 4 Pro; Samsung Smart TVs; Vizio SmartCast TVs; LG Smart TVs; Comcast’s entertainment platforms, including Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex and XClass TV; and Cox’s Contour and Contour Stream Player devices.

Peacock to Stream Entire 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

NBCUniversal’s streaming platform Peacock will stream the entire upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Feb. 2-20. For the first time, all events from the XXIV Olympic Winter Games (including opening and closing ceremonies) will be available to access via Peacock’s premium tier ($4.99 monthly with ads, $9.99 without ads) option.

Streaming coverage includes NBC’s nightly primetime show, competition replays, daily studio show, medal ceremonies and highlight clips.

“As the streaming destination of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Peacock will offer the ultimate fan experience all in one place,” Kelly Campbell, president of Peacock, said in a statement. “From every live event and gold medal moment to exclusive daily shows, channels and original documentaries, viewers will be able to easily catch-up and keep up on all the action throughout the Games with our comprehensive Olympics hub on Peacock.”

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The Opening Ceremony takes place on Feb. 4, with competition coverage beginning two days prior on Feb. 2, and NBC’s first primetime show taking place Feb 3. The Games conclude on Feb. 20, with the Closing Ceremony.

“We are excited to offer NBC Olympics’ storytelling and complete streaming coverage of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games on Peacock,” said Molly Solomon, executive producer of NBC Olympics & Paralympics. “This approach provides the American audience with a dynamic, easy-to-use Olympic viewing hub where not a single moment, live or on-demand, will be missed.”

More details about NBCUniversal’s television coverage of the Games, including full daily schedules of live events and replay availability, as well as Peacock exclusive daily studio programming details will be announced soon.

Team USA is expected to feature many top medal contenders, including three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White (snowboarding), 2018 Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim (snowboarding), two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin (alpine skiing), three-time world champion Nathan Chen (figure skating), and 2018 Olympian Erin Jackson (speed skating). The reigning Olympic champion U.S. women’s ice hockey team are gold medal contenders and other U.S. team sports, such as curling, are expected to challenge for medals as well.