NBC Universal Picks Comcast’s Matt Strauss to Run Peacock Streaming Service

As media companies ready a host of new over-the-top video streaming platforms, management shuffles appear to be part of the transition.

NBC Universal, which is launching branded Peacock streaming service early next year, has reportedly picked Comcast executive Matt Strauss to head the platform, replacing Bonnie Hammer, who transitions to a new position overseeing broadcast and cable studio operations, according to Variety, which first reported the move.

Both Hammer and Strauss have featured prominently in Media Play News‘ Digital Drivers annual feature story.

“Bonnie’s great taste, deep Hollywood relationships, and strong track record of generating popular and award-winning programming make her ideally suited to oversee this new division,” Steven Burke, CEO of NBC Universal, said in a statement.”

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Burke contends Hammer’s expertise in both digital and network distribution will be integral to the future success of “our streaming business,” including acquiring content for Peacock.

Bonnie Hammer, Matt Strauss, Paul Telegedy, George Cheeks

Under Hammer, NBC Universal unveiled the Peacock brand for its streaming service that will be an unpriced add-on to Xfinity subscribers and non-subs.

Strauss, EVP of Xfinity Services,  earlier this year helped launch Xfinity Flex — a $5 monthly service offering Xfinity broadband-only subs direct access (for a separate fee) to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Now, in addition to ad-supported content, and digital movies for sale and rent.

Xfinity Flex comes with more than 10,000 free online movies and TV shows — including live streaming TV — from ESPN3, Xumo, Pluto, Tubi TV, Cheddar, YouTube and more.

In other changes, Paul Telegdy will be the sole chairman of NBC Entertainment. Telegdy’s previous co-chair George Cheeks now reports to Hammer.



DEG Announces Board for 2019-20

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group on Aug. 9 announced its incoming board of directors at the start of its 23rd year as one of the home entertainment industry’s leading trade associations.

DEG’s voting member companies elected the new board to serve for the 2019-20 fiscal year (Aug. 1 – July 31). New board members include Pedro Gutierrez of Microsoft Corp., Cheryl Goodman of Sony Electronics and Erol Kalafat of Amazon Studios.

Amazon Studios is a new member company represented on the
DEG board for the first time.

The DEG also has added two additional companies to its membership: Row8, a transactional digital movie service that allows viewers to stop a movie they don’t like and choose a new one at no additional charge, and Snap Inc., parent company of social networking app Snapchat.

The Officers of the DEG board were elected to a two-year term in 2018 and will continue to serve through July 2020. Officers include Chair Matt Strauss of Comcast Cable; Vice Chair Sofia Chang of WarnerMedia Distribution (HBO); CFO Bob Buchi of Paramount Home Entertainment; Secretary Jim Wuthrich of Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment & Games, and Chair Emeritus Mike Dunn, formerly of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

“At a time when our industry is rapidly changing, the board of directors strives to produce deliverables that meet the needs of the industry at this dynamic time, such as DEG’s D2C Alliance, formed at the start of the year,” said Amy Jo Smith, president and CEO of the DEG.

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