Peacock Inks Distribution Agreement With Sony PlayStation

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s pending streaming service, July 14 announced it will be available on Sony Interactive Entertainment’s PlayStation 4 systems starting the week of July 20, shortly after Peacock’s national launch on July 15. Peacock will be available on PS4 and PS4 Pro, and Peacock will curate an always-on editorial row that features currently available content.

In April, Peacock’s early preview rolled out free to eligible Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex subscribers.

At launch, the platform will offer an ad-supported free tier of movies, TV shows and live and on-demand programming across news, sports, reality and late night. Peacock Premium will be available for $4.99 per month (with ads). Users can upgrade to an ad-free tier for an additional $5 ($9.99 total) per month.

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“We’ve made Peacock free to our distribution partners like Sony Interactive Entertainment so anyone can stream Peacock anywhere they choose,” Maggie McLean Suniewick, president, business development and partnerships, Peacock, said in a statement.

Peacock recently announced original programming available at launch including Brave New World, The Capture, Intelligence and Lost Speedways; sports documentary In Deep with Ryan Lochte; and the entire full-length film Psych 2: Lassie Come Home. In addition, customers will enjoy current season programming from NBC and Telemundo, access to hundreds of blockbuster movies like Jurassic Park, Do the Right Thing, and Shrek; and iconic shows including comedies Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men, Frasier, George Lopez, Psych, Monk and Cheers; dramas Law & Order: SVU, Downton Abbey, Yellowstone, Friday Night Lights, House, Battlestar Galactica, Parenthood, Heroes, and kids programing including Curious George, DreamWorks Where’s Waldo? and DreamWorks Cleopatra in Space.

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Peacock users will also enjoy daily programming highlights from “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Meet the Press,” “Noticias Telemundo,” MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, E! News and Access Hollywood, and streaming channels including clip-based channels like the best Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers comedy sketches, the best sketches from the “SNL” Vault, plus news channels from NBC News Now and Sky News, and genre channels like True Crime, Reality Check-In and 80s Mix Tape.

Comcast Launches Virtual TV Summer Camp for Kids

Comcast Cable’s Xfinity TV July 13 launched “Camp Tonsafun,” a free virtual TV camp hosted by “counselors” from NBCUniversal, which include TV show and movie personalities and production personnel.

More than 14 million children and adults attend camp in the U.S. every summer, according to the American Camp Association, and “Camp Tonsafun” is intended to be a resource for Xfinity subscribers who may be impacted by the closure of many programs this summer due to COVID-19.

Available on Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex, the camp features video lessons and activities spanning arts, sports, cooking, experiments and adventures geared toward children ages 5 to 12. Campers can participate using items that they likely already have at home.

Jade Catta-Preta, the new host of E!’s “The Soup,” is the camp director, kicking off the series of weekly video lessons and activities. They include: “Learn to Animate a Minion” with Illumination and Brad Ableson, co-director of Minions: The Rise of Gru; “Be a Smart Ninja” with Jessie Graff from “American Ninja Warrior,” “Prank Your Friends and Family” with Scott Tweedie from E! News; “Bring Dinosaurs Back to Life” with Jurassic World themed magic tricks; “Build a Home Obstacle Course” with Nate Burkhalter from “Exatlón Estados Unidos,” and “Throw a Tie-Dye Party” with Dina Cerchione, stylist for Howie Mandel (“America’s Got Talent”), and “Deal or No Deal.”

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Other activities include: “Learn Basketball Drills” by Trevon Jenifer from Team USA; “Make an Out-Of-This-World Milkshake” with Chef Chris from Universal Parks & Resorts; “Play Hallway Mini Golf” with Martin Chuck, GolfPass instructor; “Be a Pancake Time Traveler” with Chef Milo from Universal Kids; “Learn How to Make A Magnificent Mango Dessert” with Carmen Aub, actress from “El Señor de los Cielos.”

In addition to Camp Tonsafun, Xfinity X1 subs can enjoy Xfinity’s Summer Guide, which spans more than 2,000 hours of seasonal entertainment curated by its team of TV editors into fun and interactive editorial collections.

They include: “For the Family” featuring recommendations for a game or movie night; “Virtual Vacations” that enable customers to travel to popular cities around the globe or even adventure to Universal Studios Orlando without leaving home; “Summer Blockbusters” highlighting the most buzzworthy flicks of the season; “Summer Reading List” highlighting TV shows and movies based on books; “Festival from Home” highlighting virtual concerts and past music festivals; “Summer TV Preview” featuring the most anticipated shows and their premiere dates; “What We’re Watching This Summer” compiling picks from each of the Xfinity TV editors and their new and latest exclusive ‘Xfinity Hangouts at Home’ interviews with The King of Staten Island’s Judd Apatow, Scoob!’s Will Forte and Ken Jeong, Da 5 Bloods cast, including Spike Lee.

Peacock to Be Available on Vizio and LG Smart TVs at Launch in July

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, will be available on Vizio SmartCast TVs and LG smart TVs when it launches on July 15.

Consumers will be able to access Peacock through the LG smart TVs’ Home Launcher or the built-in application on the Vizio SmartCast home screen.

Peacock will offer a free tier featuring more than 7,500 hours of movies, shows, and live and on-demand programming across news, sports, reality and late night. Peacock Premium will also be available for $4.99 per month, featuring more than 15,000 hours of content. Viewers may also upgrade Peacock Premium to ad-free for an additional $5 per month.

“We want to provide fans of Peacock’s vast programming a choice of how and where they consume our content when we launch nationally next month, said Matt Bond, chairman, content distribution, NBCUniversal, in a statement. “Vizio and LG are great partners that will help provide these fans the viewing experience they’ve come to expect from us at NBCUniversal.”

“With increasing consumption on smart TVs, we are happy to make it easy for Peacock customers with Vizio and LG smart televisions to stream all our content,” Maggie McLean Suniewick, president of business development and partnerships for Peacock, said in a statement. “We offer Peacock as free to our distribution partners because we want people everyone to enjoy Peacock where and when they want it.”

Peacock original programming available at launch includes “Brave New World,” “The Capture,” “Intelligence” and “Lost Speedways”; sports documentary In Deep With Ryan Lochte; and the full-length film Psych 2: Lassie Come Home. Also available will be current season programming from NBC and Telemundo, access to hundreds of movies such as Jurassic Park, Do the Right Thing and Shrek; and shows including comedies “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live,” “King of Queens,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Frasier,” “George Lopez,” “Psych,” “Monk” and “Cheers”dramas “Law & Order: SVU,” “Downton Abbey,” “Yellowstone,” “Friday Night Lights,” “House,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Parenthood,” “Heroes,” and kids programing including “Curious George,” “DreamWorks Where’s Waldo?” and “Cleopatra in Space.”

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Peacock customers will also enjoy daily programming highlights from “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Meet the Press,” “Noticias Telemundo,” MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, “E! News” and “Access Hollywood,” and dozens of streaming channels including clip-based channels such as Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers comedy sketches, sketches from the “SNL” vault, plus news channels from NBC News Now and Sky News, and genre channels such as True Crime, Reality Check-In and 80s Mix Tape.

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In April, Peacock’s early preview rolled out to Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex customers at no additional cost. Peacock will also be bundled and included at no additional cost for eligible Cox Contour customers for national launch in July.

Peacock to Launch Nationally on Google Platforms, Devices

NBCUniversal’s pending SVOD service Peacock June 23 announced it will be available on Google platforms and devices including Android, Android TV devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices when it launches nationwide July 15. At that time, Peacock will offer a free tier featuring more than 7,500 hours of movies, shows, and timely live and on-demand programming across news, sports, reality and late night. Peacock Premium offers 15,000 hours of content, and Android and Android TV users will receive complimentary access to Peacock Premium until Oct. 15, 2020. Once a user’s promotion concludes, Peacock Premium will be available for $4.99 per month on Android and Android TV via Google Play in-app purchase. Viewers may also upgrade to an ad-free tier for an additional $5.00 per month.

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“Given Google’s extensive customer reach, millions of people will be able to start streaming Peacock on their preferred platform or device this July,” Maggie McLean Suniewick, president, business development and partnerships, Peacock, said in a statement. “We’ve made Peacock free to our distribution partners, including Google, because we want people everywhere to stream Peacock, and the Peacock Premium promotion demonstrates our commitment to providing incredible value for our mutual customers.”

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Peacock recently announced original programming available at launch including “Brave New World,” “The Capture,” “Intelligence” and “Lost Speedways”; sports documentary “In Deep With Ryan Lochte”; and the entire full-length film Psych 2: Lassie Come Home. In addition, subs will have access to programming from NBC and Telemundo, access to Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation movies like Jurassic Park, Do the Right Thing and Shrek; and iconic shows including comedies “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live,” “King of Queens,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Frasier,” “George Lopez,” “Psych,” “Monk” and “Cheers”; dramas “Law & Order: SVU,” “Downton Abbey,” “Yellowstone,” “Friday Night Lights,” “House,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Parenthood,” “Heroes,” and kids programming including “Curious George,” DreamWorks’ “Where’s Waldo?” and “Cleopatra in Space.”

Peacock users also have daily programming highlights from “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Meet the Press,” “Noticias Telemundo,” MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, E! News and Access Hollywood, and 75 streaming channels including clip-based channels like the best Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers comedy sketches, the best sketches from the “SNL” Vault, plus news channels from NBC News Now and Sky News, and genre channels such as True Crime, Reality Check-In and 80s Mix Tape.

AMC Theatres CEO Doubles Down Banning Universal Movies

AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron remains adamant the nation’s largest theatrical chain will not screen Universal Pictures movies when it re-opens — following the coronavirus pandemic shutdown — in select locations on July 15.

The chain and studio have been embroiled in a dispute after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said Universal theatrical releases going forward would also entertain direct-to-consumer distribution on launch day — thus upending the traditional exclusive 90-day theatrical window. That move came after scuttled theatrical release Trolls World Tour generated $100 million from premium VOD in the home in just three weeks.

In an June 18 interview with CNN Business, Aron was asked if pending Universal sequels such as Fast & Furious 9, Jurassic World: Dominion and Minions: The Rise of Gru would be banned from AMC.

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“Yes, assuming we can’t have discussions with Universal that solve our concerns,” Aron said. “Remember, AMC has been showing Universal movies happily and profitably for decades. We didn’t change the status quo, and we didn’t actually have any protest about Trolls at all. We understood that our theaters were shut, that they have a business to run, and that they felt they needed to take Trolls to the home rather than waiting.”

Aron says his concern revolves around Universal’s decision to ignore the theatrical window and screen movies in theaters and via home entertainment concurrently.

“If they take movies to the home and theaters at the same time, they’re the ones who are changing the status quo and they would make it unprofitable for us to play Universal movies in our theaters,” Aron said.

The executive said his April letter to Universal Pictures  Chairwoman Donna Langley underscored the fact the studio — not AMC — had broken the business relationship between the two companies, and would force the exhibitor to “come up” with a new business relationship.

“We’re in active dialog with Universal now,” Aron said. “We’ll see where that leads, but it is our current plan not to show Universal movies if we can’t do so profitably.”

Langley in April said the studio “absolutely believe[s]” in the theatrical “experience” and made no statement to the contrary.

“As we stated earlier, going forward, we expect to release future films directly to theaters, as well as on PVOD when that distribution outlet makes sense,” she said. “We look forward to having additional private conversations with our exhibition partners, but are disappointed by this seemingly coordinated attempt from AMC and [National Association of Theatre Owners] to confuse our position and our actions.”

Peacock Announces First Originals for July 15 Launch

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, May 14 announced its first original content slate that will be available on July 15 when the service launches nationally.

Peacock Premium ($9.99) subscribers can stream all first season episodes of “Brave New World,” “The Capture,” “Intelligence” and “Lost Speedways”; sports documentary “In Deep With Ryan Lochte”; and the entire full-length film Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.

Additionally, Peacock Kids will stream new episodes of “Curious George” and two original series from DreamWorks Animation: “Cleopatra in Space” and “Where’s Waldo?” Premiere dates for future Peacock Originals and exclusive content will be announced later this year.

“Our variety of Peacock Originals at launch demonstrates how we deliver timely and timeless content — no matter the genre or format,” Bill McGoldrick, president of original content, said in a statement.

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Based on Aldous Huxley’s novel, “Brave New World” imagines a utopian society that has achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family, and history itself. The show stars Harry Lloyd (“Game of Thrones,” “The Theory of Everything”) and Jessica Brown Findlay, (Winter’s Tale, “Downton Abbey”), among others.

“The Capture” is a conspiracy thriller that looks at a troubling world of fake news and the extraordinary capabilities of the intelligence services. When soldier Shaun Emery’s (“Callum Turner,” “War & Peace,” Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) conviction for a murder in Afghanistan is overturned due to flawed video evidence, he returns to life as a free man with his young daughter. But when damning CCTV footage from a night out in London comes to light, Shaun’s life takes a shocking turn and he must soon fight for his freedom once again.

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The series stars Rachel Carey (“Holliday Grainger,” “Strike,” “Patrick Melrose”), Ron Perlman (Hellboy, “Hand of God”), Famke Janssen (X-Men, Taken), Ben Miles (“The Crown,” “Coupling”) and Laura Haddock (Transformers: The Last Knight, Guardians of the Galaxy), among others.

“Intelligence” is a workplace comedy set in the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters — a kind of weedier, geekier, more bureaucratic version of MI5 and MI6, where they tackle international and domestic Cyber Crime from a desktop. It stars David Schwimmer (“Friends”) and Nick Mohammed (The Martian, Christopher Robin) in a power grab that threatens to disrupt the team’s ability to combat cyber terrorism.

In Psych 2: Lassie  Come Home, Santa Barbara Police Chief Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson (“This Is Us”) is ambushed on the job and left for dead. In a vintage “Psych”-style Hitchcockian nod, he begins to see impossible happenings around his recovery clinic. Co-stars include James Roday (Psych) and Dulé Hill (Psych).

In addition to current season programming from NBC and Telemundo, Peacock customers will have access to hundreds of Universal movies like the Jurassic Park franchise, E.T., Meet the Parents and Shrek, among others.

In July, viewers can watch at peacocktv.com or across mobile and connected TV platforms with the Peacock app.

NBCUniversal, Sky Partner on Joint Advertising Platform

NBCUniversal and sister company Sky have launched of an advertising partnership enabling the companies’ original content to be available for purchase through NBCUniversal’s upstart “One Platform.”

Leadership of the new global division will be announced in the coming weeks, and will report into NBCUniversal Chairwoman Linda Yaccarino as well as partner closely with Sky Chief Business Officer Patrick Béhar.

NBCUniversal parent Comcast acquired U.K. satellite TV operator Sky for $39 billion in 2018.

With many consumers stuck at home during mandated government quarantine measures, domestic TV viewership is expected to add 8.3 million viewers in 2020 — the first increase since 2011, according to eMarketer.

With the global coronavirus pandemic upending traditional advertising strategies, NBCUniversal’s One Platform aims to give marketers access to premium content and advanced advertising capabilities that NBCU and Sky each bring to market.

Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky’s combined $24 billion investment in original content ranges from “Saturday Night Live” to “Game of Thrones,” as well international news efforts. NBCUniversal and Sky claim to reach an audience that spans more than half a billion viewers every month in more than 160 countries.

“At a time when lots and lots of companies are slashing their ad budgets, or at least pausing them, now the supply of viewing time or ad inventory exceeds the demand from advertisers to fill it,” Ross Benes, analyst at eMarketer, told CNBC. “It’s great to get people to watch your show, but each viewer is being monetized much lower than they were months ago.”

One Platform hopes to remedy that issue.

Peacock to Be Available on Microsoft Xbox One Devices

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, will be available on Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X, when it launches nationally July 15.

Peacock will offer a free tier featuring more than 7,500 hours of movies, shows, and live and on-demand programming across news, sports, reality and late night. Peacock Premium will also  be available for $4.99 per month, featuring more than 15,000 hours of content. Viewers may also upgrade Peacock Premium to ad-free for an additional $5 per month.

“We are pleased to make Peacock available to the millions of customers who access content across Xbox platforms,” Maggie McLean Suniewick, president of business development and partnerships for Peacock, said in a statement. “With streaming entertainment and gaming reaching all-time highs, Xbox will be a great ongoing partner for Peacock.”

When it launches in July, Peacock will be available for Xbox users to download through the Microsoft Store. Customers will be able to sign up for Peacock Free or upgrade to Peacock Premium directly within the Peacock app on Xbox devices using in-app purchase.

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“We look forward to working with Microsoft, bringing Peacock to the Xbox platform and expanding the growing options people have to access our content at national launch,” Matt Bond, chairman, content distribution, NBCUniversal, said in a statement.

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Last month, Peacock’s early preview rolled out to eligible Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex customers at no additional cost. Peacock will also be bundled and included at no additional cost for eligible Cox Contour customers later this year.

NBCUniversal’s Peacock Streaming Service Bowing on Apple Devices in July

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, May 6 announced it would be available on Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, when it launches nationally July 15.

The distribution is noteworthy as Apple has its own streaming service, Apple TV+, including original programming, also available on its hardware devices.

At that time, Peacock will offer a free, ad-supported tier featuring more than 7,500 hours of movies, shows, and timely live and on-demand programming across news, sports, reality and late night.

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Peacock Premium will be available for $4.99 per month and features more than 15,000 hours of content. Viewers may also upgrade Peacock Premium to ad-free for an additional $5.00, or $9.99 per month.

Peacock will be fully integrated with the Apple TV app, so users can stream across all Apple devices and find content in the “Watch Now” section, add shows, movies and live sports to “Up Next,” to ensure they never miss a thing, and use Siri to search for Peacock content.

Users will be able to sign up for Peacock Free or upgrade to Peacock Premium directly within the Peacock app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV using an in-app purchase.

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“Our priority is to bring Peacock’s unrivaled collection of content to people across major distributors and device platforms,” Matt Bond, chairman of content distribution at NBCUniversal, said in a statement.

In addition to current-season programming from NBC and Telemundo, Peacock users will have access to Universal Pictures movies, including the “Jurassic Park” franchise, E.T., Meet the Parents and Shrek; TV shows “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live,” “King of Queens,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Frasier,” “George Lopez” and “Cheers”; dramas “Law & Order: SVU,” “Downton Abbey,” “Yellowstone,” “Friday Night Lights,” “House,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Psych,” “Parenthood,” “Monk” and “Heroes”; kids programing including “Curious George,” “Where’s Waldo?” and “Cleopatra in Space,” in addition to Peacock original movies and shows (titles available at premiere yet to be announced).

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“Apple will be a key launch platform for Peacock,” said Maggie McLean Suniewick, president of business development and partnerships for Peacock.

The Peacock app will also feature daily programming highlights from “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Meet the Press,” “Noticias Telemundo,” MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, E! News and “Access Hollywood,” and 75 streaming channels, including clip-based channels like the best Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers comedy sketches, the best sketches from the “SNL” vault, plus news channels from NBC News Now and Sky News, and genre channels like True Crime, Reality Check-In and 80s Mix Tape.

Last month, Peacock rolled out early access to eligible Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex customers. Peacock will also be bundled and included at no additional cost for eligible Cox Contour customers later this year.

NBCUniversal’s Jeff Shell: ‘Not Realistic’ to Ignore PVOD

After setting off an industry firestorm saying Universal Pictures would pursue a movie-release strategy combining theatrical and premium video-on-demand, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell doubled down on his previous comments to The Wall Street Journal after Universal Pictures animated feature film, Trolls World Tour, generated $100 million in PVOD sales.

Speaking April 29 on the Comcast fiscal call, Shell said PVOD would continue as a “complementary offer” to consumers when theaters re-open to the public — and consumers attend.

He said the Trolls had been primed and marketed for a March 20 theatrical bow, and when the coronavirus shut down theaters, going direct-to-consumer on April 10 with a “desperately” needed children’s title during the pandemic was the only option.

“The majority of our movies, whether we like it or not, are being consumed at home,” Shell said. “It’s not realistic to assume that we’re not going to change, that this part of the business isn’t going to change like all parts of the business are going to change.”

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The executive said it remains to be seen what the distribution model will look like post-COVID-19. While he expects a gradual return to the cineplex, which he said Universal would be part of, he also expects PVOD to be a part of the business model.

“[PVOD is] not a replacement,” Shell said. “We’re just going to have to see how long [a return to theatrical] takes and where it takes us.”

AMC Theatres, trade group National Association of Theatre Owners and Regal Cinemas have blasted Universal for pledging to bypass the traditional 90-day theatrical window. Both exhibitors have said they would not distribute any Universal — or other studio — title earmarked for simultaneous in-home digital release.

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With the exception of Georgia and Texas, movie theaters in most states remain shuttered due to the coronavirus. The industry and studios are projected to lose billions in box office revenue to the shutdowns.

Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh said future PVOD releases would be determined on a “title-by-title” basis.