Peacock, Lionsgate Ink Movie Distribution Deal Beginning in 2024

Lionsgate and NBCUniversal streaming platform Peacock May 2 announced a long-term distribution deal that will see the Santa Monica, Calif.-based studio/distributor’s original 2022 movies streaming on the SVOD/AVOD platform in the pay-2 window beginning in 2024. The streamer is also getting next-day access to NBCUniversal’s Bravo TV series

Lionsgate and Peacock made the announcement at the latter’s 2022 Newfront presentation in New York.

Bravo series include “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen,” “Summer House,” “Below Deck Sailing Yacht,” “Top Chef,” “Kandi and the Gang,” “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” “Million Dollar Listing New York,” “Vanderpump Rules” and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” among others.

“We are thrilled Peacock is becoming the streaming home of Bravo, which is such a beloved brand,” Kelly Campbell, president of Peacock and direct-to-consumer at NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “Full fan experiences like this are part of the extraordinary value we offer Peacock customers.”

The first movies would include Nicolas Cage comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, John Wick: Chapter 4, featuring Keanu Reeves, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Expendables 4, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and White Bird: A Wonder Story, co-starring Helen Mirren and Gillian Anderson.

“Movies are among the most-streamed titles on Peacock, and we continue to expand our premium film offering from top studios, like Lionsgate, to ensure customers enjoy a steady stream of the biggest and best films to enjoy throughoutthe year,” said Val Boreland, EVP of content acquisition for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

“These agreements affirm the great demand for first-run studio movies across every kind of platform — AVOD, SVOD, basic cable and FAST,” added Jim Packer, president of worldwide television distribution at Lionsgate. “This partnership with Peacock shows our ability to capitalize on opportunities in today’s complex media landscape with a multifaceted, layered approach that meets everyone’s needs.”

The deal follows a similar streaming agreement between Lionsgate and The Roku Channel, which begins in 2023.

Peacock Announces First Original Movies From Universal Pictures to Bow in 2023

Peacock May 2 announced three upcoming original movies scheduled to premiere on the service in 2023: Shooting Stars, Praise This and The Killer. Each movie is part of the previously announced collaboration with Universal Pictures to produce a number of films made exclusively for the NBCUniversal streaming service.

“We know people join Peacock to watch movies, so we are constantly adding more to serve fans,” Kelly Campbell, president of Peacock and direct-to-consumer and international for NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “Together with the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, we are excited to deliver fresh, exclusive, original films next year to our customers in addition to the legendary Universal Pictures blockbuster films and beloved franchises streaming now.”

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Peacock will be home to the first film from NBCUniversal’s production deal with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Company. Shooting Stars follows LeBron’s origin story as a high-school basketball player and is currently being filmed in his hometown of Akron. Academy Award-nominees Rachel Winter and Terence Winter are producing along with The SpringHill Company.

From producer Will Packer, who also produced Girls Trip, comes Praise This, starring Chloe Bailey as the newest member of a community’s church choir who pushes her members in a hipper musical direction and whose involvement with an irreverent hip-hop star may kick off — or jeopardize — her own musical career.

And celebrated action director John Woo returns to reimagine and direct his own classic, The Killer. These exclusive original movies will join Peacock’s catalog as the service continues to expand with a range of films for every genre and user.

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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Report: Peacock Streaming Service to Reach 64.3 Million Viewers By Year’s End

NBCUniversal’s hybrid subscription streaming, ad-supported VOD platform Peacock is projected to reach 64.3 million U.S. viewers by the end of the year, up 25% from 51.5 million in 2021, according to new data from eMarketer.

Launched on July 15, 2020, Peacock has been slowly received by streamers out of the gate. The platform ended 2021 with just 9 million subscribers, while boasting 54 million signups and 20+ million average users.

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Peacock still lags far behind Netflix, which will have more than 170 million U.S. viewers this year, as well as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+ and HBO Max, all of which have well over 80 million subscribers. Peacock will still rank ahead of ESPN+ and Apple TV+ in viewership.

While Netflix executives are for the first time contemplating a move to ad-supported streaming, Peacock has embraced AVOD from the start. Of the 24.5 million active accounts held by Peacock subscribers at the end of 2021, just over 33% were free users, according to eMarketer. The majority of paid Peacock subscribers are also ad-supported content consumers.

“[Peacock] benefits from a combination of linear and on-demand content as well as live sports broadcasts like the Olympics and ‘Sunday Night Football,'” Sara Lebow, analyst with eMarketer, wrote in a blog post. “It has also drawn viewership with big titles available for exclusive streaming like ‘The Office’ and The Boss Baby 2.”

Lebow claims Peacock will reach 20% of internet users by the end of this year. That figure will expand to more than 25% by 2026, for a total of 84.2 million viewers.

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.

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.

NBCUniversal Announces Super Bowl LVI TV Commercial Slots Are Sold-Out

Ahead of NBC Sports’ presentation of Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, NBCUniversal Feb. 3 announced that the NFL championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals is officially sold out of every in-game unit across NBC, Telemundo and all digital platforms, including Peacock, with only a handful of pre-game spots remaining.  

“From ‘Sunday Night Football’ to ‘Football Night in America,’ and through the playoffs, we’ve seen an increased appetite for fans to watch the NFL across all our platforms,” Mark Marshall, president of advertising  partnerships for NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “This multiplatform consumption has attracted even more advertisers who have the desire for the immediate scaled reach of sports.”

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NBCUniversal said the game will set a new unit rate average record for a Super Bowl, including multiple spots sold at $7 million for a 30-second spot. Every in-game advertiser will also run across NBCU’s Telemundo Super Bowl telecast as well as NBC Sports Streaming assets, including Peacock for the first time.  

The categories with the largest unit growth in this year’s Super Bowl compared with last year’s Super Bowl include automotive, technology, entertainment, travel, and health and wellness. The media giant said there are more than 30 new advertisers in this year’s Super Bowl compared to last year, representing about 40% of the total advertisers.  

NBC Sports’ presentation of Super Bowl LVI from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles marks NBC’s 20th Super Bowl broadcast and the debut Super Bowl presentation on Peacock. In addition, Telemundo becomes the first-ever Spanish-language broadcast network to air the Super Bowl.  

Comcast: Peacock Ended 2021 With Just 9 Million Paid Subs, $1.7 Billion Loss

NBCUniversal’s subscription/ad-supported streaming platform Peacock ended the fourth quarter and fiscal year (ended Dec. 31, 2021) with 24.5 million monthly average users (MAUs), and just 9 million paid subscribers Comcast disclosed Jan. 27 on the media giant’s fiscal call.

Peacock in 2021 generated an operating loss of $1.7 billion on revenue of $778 million, more than double the operating loss of $663 million on revenue of $118 million in 2020.

Comcast hasn’t disclosed actual numbers for the streaming platform since reporting 54 million signups and 20+ million MAUs in Q2 2021. The streaming service first launched in April 2020, going nationwide later that summer.

By comparison, Netflix ended 2021 with 222 million paid subs, while rivals Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video have reported paid sub tallies of 111 million and 175 million, respectively. HBO Max and HBO ended 2021 with a combined 73.8 million paid subs. Paramount+ and Showtime Anytime ended the most-recent fiscal period with 42 million combined paid subs.

NBCUniversal is looking to jumpstart consumer interest in Peacock by offering access to the entire 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on the streaming service (subscription only), beginning Feb. 3. Peacock is also streaming select NBC NFL postseason games, in addition to WWE wrestling and European soccer.

Comcast chairman/CEO Brian Roberts didn’t seem too worried (at least publicly) about the subscriber numbers.

“That [sub number] is without much focus on paid subscriber growth,” Roberts said on the call. “We have another seven million highly engaged bundle subscribers from Xfinity and other top distributors who use Peacock every single month and currently receive Peacock Premium and no extra cost.”

Peacock Launching Local News Channels via NBC-Owned TV Stations

Peacock Jan. 20 announced the expansion of local news content on the streaming platform with channels from its NBC-owned television stations in several major markets. Beginning today, all Peacock users have free access to coverage from NBC 5 Chicago (WMAQ), NBC 10 Philadelphia (WCAU), NBC10 Boston (WBTS) and New England Cable Network (NECN), and NBC 6 Miami (WTVJ). News channels from NBC 4 New York (WNBC) and NBC 4 Los Angeles (KNBC) will be available to stream for free in the months ahead.

The new channels titled NBC Chicago News, NBC Philadelphia News, NBC Boston News and NBC South Florida News offer Peacock subs 24/7 access local news coverage. Each channel features simulcast and encore news programming, along with breaking news and original content produced by its NBC station’s local news operations. The lineups deliver news, weather, sports, investigative reporting, lifestyle content and storytelling.

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“We know the importance of local news to our subscribers, and this further distinguishes the Peacock experience where you can stream everything from news content to original scripted shows, premium movies, live sports and more all on our platform,” Jen Brown, SVP of program planning for Peacock, said in a statement.

The addition of local news channels builds upon Peacock’s growing news offering, which currently features live and on demand channels including NBC News Now, Sky News, Today All Day, NBC LX, Telemundo Al Día and Dateline 24/7; exclusive channels like The Choice from MSNBC, featuring original programming from hosts Zerlina Maxwell and Mehdi Hasan; curated playlists from national programming such as “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Meet the Press,” “Noticias Telemundo,” MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, E! News and Access Hollywood as well as 11 local NBC stations including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., San Diego and Connecticut.