NBC Sports Next’s GolfPass, a subscription program offering tee-time benefits and streaming video, touted its fifth anniversary, announcing the platform has generated more than 100 million total minutes of streaming video content consumption.
Co-founded by PGA Tour star Rory McIlroy, GolfPass ($99 per year) offers subs access to an on-demand video library of nearly 5,000 videos ranging from golf instruction to a variety of original entertainment. The service features 115 series, including 84 originals, representing more than 3,000 episodes and 40,000 minutes of entertainment, including shows “Ask Rory,” “The Conor Moore Show,” “Build a Better Game,” “Home Course Advantage,” “Better Off With Hally Leadbetter” and “My Daily Routine,” among others.
The service also includes 795 one-to-two-minute instructional videos.
A record 45 million Americans played golf in 2023, according to the National Golf Foundation.
Also included in the membership is access to the Golf Channel video vault, featuring series “Feherty” and “Big Break.”
The streaming service is now on the Peacock platform, with Samsung TV Plus adding a GolfPass channel to their programming mix in 2022, with Xumo, Amazon Freevee and TCL soon to follow. Roku became the most recent addition in January, with two more distribution platforms expected in the near future.
NEWS ANALYSIS — Peacock’s distribution of the first-ever streaming-only NFL Super Wild Card Playoff Game on Jan. 13 between host (and reigning Super Bowl champion) Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins at Arrowhead Stadium was the fourth-coldest NFL game in history and a blowout 26-7 win for the home team.
It was also a win for Peacock.
With Peacock paying a reported $110 million to the NFL for the rights (similar to Prime Video’s $100 million first-ever NFL Black Friday game last November), the streamer is expected to report record viewership despite reported technical issues affecting some viewers around the country.
Some viewers went to social media to complain about buffering and audio issues with the Peacock app, not unexpected when local ISP networks are inundated by excessive demand.
There were no TV streaming issues for this reporter, who appreciated being able to stop the live broadcast, rewind to previous plays, or to key highlight links selected by Peacock as the game transpired.
Speaking earlier this week on a media call, Rick Cordella, president of NBC Sports, said Peacock is not unfamiliar with streaming NBC Sports live events such as the Super Bowl, World Cup soccer, the Olympics, WrestleMania, Premier League soccer, in addition to “Sunday Night Football.”
In fact, with the exception of Cris Collinsworth’s absence in the broadcast booth, the entire “Sunday Night Football” team was in place for the Peacock event.
“This is not new territory for us, and I have confidence that our product and tech teams will deliver a great experience for the viewers Saturday evening,” Cordella said.
That didn’t stop U.S. House Rep. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) from blasting the NFL and NBC for what he said was a “greedy bait-and-switch scheme” that forced millions of fans to pay for “yet another streaming service” to watch a key playoff game.
In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Cordella, Ryan demanded the game be made available on broadcast television (it was available on linear TV in local Kansas City and Miami markets), and pushed for Congress to review professional sports leagues’ long-standing antitrust exemption for broadcast agreements.
“It is absolutely ridiculous that my constituents, who already pay for NBC, have to pay even more to watch this game,” Ryan wrote in a press release. “How much more profit do Roger Goodell and NBC need to make at the expense of hard working Americans before they are satisfied?”
NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming video platform is again among multiple NBC Sports platforms that will deliver Indy Car racing — including the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 — across U.S. households and portable devices in 2023.
Peacock will “simulstream” the entire 2023 NTT IndyCar Series, including exclusive presentation of the “Streets of Toronto” for the second straight year on July 16. The SVOD/AVOD platform will live-stream the remaining 16 races, including coverage of every qualifying and practice session.
“In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series,” Mike Perman, VP of programming at NBC Sports, said in a statement.
NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service will become the exclusive home to a new Major League Baseball game of the week streaming/broadcast package beginning May 8.
The NBC Sports-produced game lasts 18 consecutive weeks, with start times for the first six Sunday games at 11:30 a.m. ET and the following 12 Sunday games beginning at Noon ET. Each game will feature NBC Sports-produced pregame and post-game shows on Peacock.
The first game (Chicago White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox from Fenway Park on May 8 at 11:30 a.m. ET) will be simulcast on the NBC broadcast network, with the remaining 17 games available exclusively on Peacock’s premium service (full schedule below). In addition, Peacock will be the exclusive home of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game — featuring top minor league prospects — which will be played during All-Star Week in July at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Peacock will also feature classic MLB games, documentaries from the MLB Film & Video Archive, and highlight packages available on-demand in a new MLB hub.
“Expanding Peacock’s premium live sports offering for subscribers remains a top priority and we are very excited to partner with MLB to bring a new, exclusive package of games to Peacock on Sunday mornings for baseball fans,” Rick Cordella, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer for Peacock, said in a statement.
“As consumption habits continue to evolve, it is important for us to provide new ways for fans who are outside the cable bundle to watch MLB games,” said Noah Garden, Major League Baseball chief revenue officer. “This agreement marks an exciting new chapter to the extensive history of innovation between MLB and NBC Sports in delivering exciting baseball action to our fans.”
The first Major League Baseball television broadcast was a 1939 Cincinnati Reds-Brooklyn Dodgers doubleheader on W2XBS (the precursor to WNBC-TV) in New York. NBC Sports was a home to the first World Series broadcast in 1947, the first All-Star Game nationally broadcast in 1952, and has televised 39 World Series — more than any other network. Additionally, from 1957 to 2000, NBC Sports was home to a wealth of baseball programming, including Game of the Week and Monday Night Baseball telecasts, more than 30 All-Star Games, and countless Postseason moments.
Peacock, which ended 2021 with 9 million paid subs, continues to up its live sports coverage, including “Sunday Night Football,” Olympic Games, Premier League, Notre Dame Football, NTT IndyCar Series, and much more. Peacock Originals streaming now include “Joe Montana: Cool Under Pressure,” “Meddling,” “Picabo,” and “American Rockstars.” Peacock also offers daily sports programming on the NBC Sports channel which streams Peacock Original Brother from Another and staples like “The Dan Patrick Show,” “Pro Football Talk Live” and ”The Rich Eisen Show.”
Comcast, parent of longtime Olympics broadcaster NBCUniversal, contends the delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will go on as scheduled, a hopeful Brian Roberts, chairman/CEO, said on the Jan. 28 fiscal call.
“Sitting here today, I believe there will be an Olympics,” Roberts said. “I hope there will be an Olympics. And I think that’s our best intelligence, at this time. And we’re excited about that.”
While the quadrennial sporting spectacle might not have an Olympic stadium filled with spectators, Roberts said the Games could be carried out the way other professional sports leagues have continued their seasons during the pandemic playing in front of empty stadiums.
“That will be up to the host country [Japan] and the host committee,” Roberts said. “We’re very hopeful and believe that they’ll find a way to safely and successfully have the Olympics.”
China’s capital of Beijing is slated to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, also exclusively broadcast in the U.S. by NBC.
The Tokyo Games, previously slated for last July, were to have been a huge promotional plug for NBCUniversal’s just-launched Peacock streaming platform. NBCUniversal has fiscal insurance policies in place should the Games be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.
In recent years, the Olympics has largely become a nationwide televised marketing event for American viewers showcasing Team USA, patriotism and individual achievement — against the backdrop of endless ads. That could continue during the pandemic with a healing effect, according to Roberts.
“For us, [the Olympics] is a television event and would be an amazing moment for the world to come back together post-what we’ve all globally been through [with the pandemic], which is so unprecedented,” Roberts said. “So we’re super hopeful and optimistic.”
NBCUniversal’s upstart SVOD service Peacock is making good on its pledge to offer major live sports. In a first, the streamer Jan. 6 announced it would offer subscribers access to NBC Sports’ coverage of the NFL Wild Card playoff game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports is broadcasting the game on NBC and Telemundo.
This will be the first time NFL live game coverage will stream on Peacock.
In addition, former ESPN host Michael Smith and regional NBC Sports host Michael Holley, co-anchors of the Peacock show, “Brother From Another,” will lead Peacock’s first-ever post-game show on Sunday night immediately following NBC’s post-game show coverage. Smith and Holley will provide Browns-Steelers game analysis and perspectives to recap the full weekend slate of six NFL Wild Card playoff games. Coverage will begin streaming following the conclusion of Browns-Steelers at approximately 11:30 p.m. ET.
To date, only Amazon Prime Video has dabbled with live-streaming professional sports, including “NFL Thursday Night Football” and select Premier League soccer matches. Netflix has heretofore refused to consider the live sports market, citing reluctance to get into cost-prohibitive license rights bidding.
Peacock has added a new exclusive free channel: NBC Sports on Peacock.
Debuting Aug. 24, the channel will stream daytime live sports talk programming, including “PFT Live with Mike Florio,” “The Dan Patrick Show” and “The Rich Eisen Show.” In September, “Brother From Another” and “PFT PM” will join the lineup.
From the creators of “Pro Football Talk Live,” “PFT PM” delivers the latest news from around the league. The show is hosted by Mike Florio and regularly features Charean Williams, Peter King, Rodney Harrison, Tony Dungy and Chris Simms.
“Peacock provides live topical sports conversations all day, every weekday, from the best and most experienced personalities in sports,” Rick Cordella, EVP and chief revenue officer for Peacock, said in a statement. “We’re excited to launch the NBC Sports Channel on Peacock with this unique and exclusive content, who provide the fans the latest commentary and opinion on everything that is happening in the world of sport.”
The NBC Sports on Peacock schedule includes “PFT Live with Mike Florio” 7 a.m.-9 a.m. ET, “The Dan Patrick Show” 9 a.m.-noon ET, “The Rich Eisen Show” noon-3 p.m. ET (exclusivity begins Oct. 5), “Brother From Another” 3 p.m.-6 p.m. ET, and “PFT PM” 6 p.m.-7 p.m. ET.
Shows will be available on demand in addition to streaming live. Highlights from NBC Sports Channel on Peacock will also be featured in the service’s Trending section, a hub for short-form content that is updated on a daily basis and includes sports highlights, pop culture updates, and shorter interview and news segments.
Upcoming live sports on Peacock includes coverage of golf’s U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, Premier League, an NFL Wild Card Playoff Game, and select events from the upcoming Tokyo and Beijing Olympics. Fans can also watch on demand replays of events such as Triple Crown horse races, daily highlights from NBC Sports, and hundreds of hours of sports series, documentaries and films such as Tiger Woods: Chasing History;1968;I Am Ali; Dream Team; Being Evel; Feherty;Willie; and Peacock Originals Lost Speedways and In Deep with Ryan Lochte.
Consumers can sign up for Peacock for free at peacocktv.com. Peacock is currently available on 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; and Vizio SmartCast TVs and LG Smart TVs. Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers, as well as eligible Cox Contour customers, enjoy Peacock Premium included with their service at no additional cost.
The NAB Show is introducing The Streaming Experience, a new content showcase curated by streaming and online video expert Dan Rayburn that will feature more than 50 OTT platforms and streaming devices.
The showcase, which will give NAB Show attendees a first-hand look at the latest streaming video services, according to organizers, will be located in the Central Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center and is open to all registered attendees during exhibit hours starting April 19.
The NAB Show takes place in Las Vegas April 18-22.
A living-room setting will allow attendees the opportunity to test OTT services side-by-side to compare content, video quality, ad formats, playback features and delivery methods. The Streaming Experience will feature hardware from Amazon, Apple, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, LG, TCL and Samsung. Streaming services on display will include Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, Disney+, Hulu, NBC Sports, Netflix and YouTube TV, among others. New services from HBO Max, Peacock and Quibi may also be showcased, dependent on their launch dates, according to organizers.
“Streaming is a major focus of the 2020 NAB Show, and the new Streaming Experience is the largest showcase of its kind in the industry,” said NAB EVP of conventions and business operations Chris Brown in a statement. “We are excited for attendees to join their industry peers in this living room environment and experience nearly every live and on-demand streaming service on the market today.”
Additional details of the Streaming Experience, including renderings of the new space, can be found here.
Despite a monthly global users base around 2 billion, Facebook users aren’t streaming much video, according to new data from Ampere Analysis.
The London-based research firm found that video streaming among Facebook users in the United States dropped to less than a quarter (23.7%) in the third quarter of 2018, compared to 35.5% in Q3 2016.
The social media platform also saw streaming video usage declines in Italy (down 6.7%) and Denmark (6%). In the U.K., which has seen ongoing video declines on Facebook since Q3 2017, reported a 1.6% uptick.
Google-owned YouTube remains the No. 1 (68.3% usage) video platform in the world catering to an endless supply of third-party user-generated content, in addition to commercial product. No. 2 is Netflix (35.4%), followed by Facebook, Instagram (17.8%) and Amazon ranked fifth with 11.7%.
“The apparent declining engagement with Facebook video is potentially symptomatic of some of the wider challenges Facebook is facing engaging younger audiences at the moment, and the impacts of the negative press surrounding the use of Facebook data in political campaign targeting,” Richard Broughton, director at Ampere Analysis, said in a statement.
“Nonetheless, video remains a priority for Facebook’s growth strategy, and recent investments in new video ad formats, as well as partnerships in the sports sector, highlight the forward-looking efforts that the social media giant is putting in to expanding this part of its business.”
Indeed, on-demand video service Facebook Watch launched Aug. 10, 2017 featuring ad-supported original and third-party content.
The service Oct. 16 bowed a new series from Whistle Sports, whose investors include NBC Sports and Sky Sports, dubbed “Famous Los and Filayyyy Show,” and featuring the two Instagram stars offering colorful insight on sports.
Other original Watch content includes “Bad Jokes,” “Whistle Worthy,” “The Loop,” “No Days Off,” and “Courtyard: Unstoppable.”
Following Britain’s late run in soccer’s world cup, interest in the Premier League has mushroomed in the digital ecosystem.
NBC Sports Group July 30 announced a partnership with Snapchat for “Premier League: Extra Time,” a new weekly original show, which will debut exclusively on Snapchat’s Discover page for the Aug. 10 start of the 2018-19 Premier League season.
Each Monday throughout the season, the show will bring a recap of the weekend’s top action and standout storylines, while also spotlighting the super fans that make the league one of the most popular in the world.
A preview of the show will air on Snapchat Aug. 9, with the first episode airing on Aug. 13.
Hosted by Francis Maxwell, the series promises to make soccer fans feel like they’re watching from a true British pub. Maxwell will guide Snapchatters through a celebration of all things Premier League each week – from epic highlights to wild fans and everything in between.
“Premier League fans are among the most passionate and digitally sophisticated out there, and we strive to bring the best content on every platform,” Troy Ewanchyna, VP, digital and NBCSports.com, said in a statement.
“We know that Snapchatters love soccer – over 80 million unique viewers watched World Cup content on Snapchat,” added Sean Mills,head of original content at Snap.
Produced by NBC Universal’s digital lab, “Premier League: Extra Time”builds on two original shows Snapchat and NBC Sports Group partnered on during the XXIII Olympic Winter Games from PyeongChang, South Korea – “Pipe Dreams,” a four-part series profiling three Olympic snowboarding hopefuls, and “Chasing Gold,” a 17-episode series on the journeys of Team USA athletes as they competed for gold.
Amazon Prime Video last month announced it would live-stream 20 Premier League matches starting in 2019.