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.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Ups Q1 Revenue 10%

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on April 28 said sales of packaged media, digital movies, among other content, in the first quarter (ended March 31) generated $310 million in revenue, which was up almost 10% from revenue of $282 million in the prior-year period.

The tally dwarfed theatrical, which saw revenue of $168 million — largely driven by the box office release Marry Me, co-starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. The numbers marked a positive turn for theatrical, which saw just $39 million in revenue in the prior-year period when most theaters remain shuttered or operating at 50% capacity due to the pandemic.

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Marry Me, which streamed on Peacock the same day it hit the box office, was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc March 29 — about two weeks after its availability across digital retail channels.

Meanwhile, content licensing to Peacock and third-party distribution platforms remains NBCUniversal’s largest revenue driver, approaching $2.8 billion. That compared with $2 billion in revenue in the prior-year period.

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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Charter and Comcast Announce Joint Venture to Develop New Streaming Platform

Charter Communications and Comcast April 27 announced that the two companies have formed a 50/50 joint venture to develop and offer a next-generation streaming platform on a variety of branded 4K streaming devices and smart TVs. The joint venture will offer app developers, streamers, retailers, operators, and hardware manufacturers the opportunity to reach customers in major markets across the country with the platform.

Comcast will license Flex, its aggregated streaming platform and hardware to the joint venture, contribute the retail business for XClass TVs and also will contribute Xumo, the ad-supported streaming service it acquired in 2020.  Charter will make an initial contribution of $900 million, funded over multiple years.

The XClass TVs will be available through national retail partners and potentially direct from Comcast and Charter to provide more customer choice. Xumo will continue to operate as a free global streaming service available through the joint venture’s products and third-party devices. Charter will offer the 4K streaming TV devices and voice remotes beginning in 2023. Comcast will continue to offer the Flex streaming platform as a streaming device and service to its customers.

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“These products are all designed to make search and discovery across live, on-demand and streaming video seamless and incredibly simple for consumers,” Dave Watson, CEO of Comcast Cable, said in a statement.  “This partnership uniquely brings together more than a decade of technical innovation, national scale and new opportunities to monetize our combined investment.”

“As the video landscape continues to evolve, this venture will increase retail consumer options, compete at scale with established national platforms, and join our existing lineup of options for the Spectrum TV App available on most customer-owned streaming devices,” added Tom Rutledge, Charter CEO.

The joint venture’s products claim to give consumers a state-of-the-art streaming experience to access their favorite apps, based on Comcast’s Flex product, which currently delivers all the most-watched streaming apps in the marketplace. The products will feature hundreds of free content choices through Xumo, currently delivering more than 200 unique streaming channels. Peacock also will be featured on the joint venture’s streaming platform, alongside other popular apps.

The closing of the joint venture is subject to customary closing conditions. This joint venture does not involve the broadband or cable video businesses of either Comcast or Charter, which will remain independent.

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.

Parrot: Netflix Share of Streaming Originals Dropped in Q1 as Competition Increased

Netflix’s demand share of streaming originals once again hit new lows in Q1 2022, sitting at 45.2% globally (down from 45.4% in Q4 2021) and 42.4% in the United States (down from 43.6% in Q4 2021), according to Parrot Analytics.

Meanwhile HBO Max, Paramount+ and Disney+ — all SVODs backed by traditional media conglomerates — saw significant gains in the most recent quarter. 
Global demand for original content from all of Netflix’s competitors grew 80.8% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2022, more than triple the 25.5% growth for Netflix originals over the same time, according to Parrot.

From Q1 2020 to Q4 2021, Netflix’s global subscribers grew from roughly 183 million to 222 million, a 21.3% increase in total subscribers. This is remarkably similar to the 22.8% growth in total demand global for Netflix originals from Q1 2020 to Q4 2021, showing the key link between demand for original content and subscriber growth, according to Parrot.

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The gap between the growth in demand for Netflix’s competitors’ original content and its own is further evidenced in Netflix’s market share dropping dramatically in the past two years — from 55.7% to 45.2% globally, and from 52.4% to 42.2% in the United States between Q1 2020 and Q1 2022.

Netflix’s global demand share for streaming originals is down from 50.2% in Q1 2021 and 55.7% in Q1 2020. Disney+ and HBO Max have grown from a combined 6.7% share in Q2 2020 (the first quarter they were both available) to 15.5% in Q1 2022. That 8.8 percentage point gain from these Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery owned streamers accounts for the vast majority of the 9.8 percentage point drop that Netflix has taken over the same time period, showing how much these traditional media companies are directly eating into Netflix’s streaming dominance, according to Parrot.

Netflix remains the dominant service for original content demand with its 45.2% global share, which is still larger than that of its six closest competitors combined — Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Hulu and Paramount+, which make up a total of 42.4% share globally. That said, its competitors are catching up — in Q2 2020 (HBO Max’s launch quarter), Netflix’s six closest competitors combined for 33.4% global demand share, while Netflix stood as 55%. HBO Max (6.7%) jumped ahead of Apple TV+ (6%) this quarter, as demand for “Ted Lasso” faded while Max launched a trio of hit originals targeting significantly different audience sectors with “Station Eleven,” “Peacemaker” and “Our Flag Means Death,” according to Parrot.

Netflix had a steeper decline with U.S. consumers, dropping from 43.6% in Q4 2021 to 42.4% in Q1 2022. Netflix’s U.S. share was 48.1% in Q1 2021 and 52.4% in Q1 2020. Paramount+ and HBO Max had very strong quarters in the United States, and accounted for much of Netflix’s losses in demand share in Q1 2022.  HBO Max grew from 6.2% to 6.9%, and overtook Apple TV+ in the category with a hits such as “Our Flag Means Death,” “Peacemaker” and “Station Eleven.” Paramount+ grew from 4.4% to 5% on the back of “Yellowstone” spin-off “1883,” as well as a new season of “Star Trek: Picard.”

Netflix is doing well in on-platform demand share, especially considering a plurality of demand for content available on Hulu is non-exclusive licensed content, which has less of an impact on subscriber growth and retention, according to Parrot. While there is currently a major drop from second to third place in HBO Max on-platform demand with U.S. audiences, a combination of HBO Max and Discovery+, which Warner Bros. Discovery leadership has repeatedly emphasized is in the works, would make up 18.3% share, just 0.4 percentage points behind Netflix. “This imminent platform combination represents a strong competitor to Netflix for second place in on-platform demand share, showing how much of a direct threat Warner Bros. Discovery poses to Netflix’s grasp on the entertainment habits of tens of millions of American consumers,” according to Parrot.

Disney+’s “The Book of Boba Fett” narrowly beat out Netflix’s “The Witcher,” both of which debuted in late December 2021, as the most globally in-demand series in Q1 2022. Netflix did account for four of the top 10 streaming originals with global audiences for the quarter, tied with Disney+, which also had four. While that is a strong showing, it still represents a significant decline from recent times. Just last quarter Netflix had four of the top five global originals, and in Q1 2021 Netflix accounted for seven of the top 10 originals worldwide. Once again, competition from traditional media — Disney+ in this case — is cutting into Netflix’s core areas of streaming dominance, according to Parrot.

Peacock Becomes Exclusive Home of New Sunday Morning Major League Baseball ‘Game of the Week’ Package

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.

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“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.”

2022 MLB on Peacock – Sunday Game Schedule

Date Time Matchup
May 8 11:30 a.m. ET Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox
May 15 11:30 a.m. ET San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves
May 22 11:30 a.m. ET St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates
May 29 11:30 a.m. ET San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds
June 5 11:30 a.m. ET Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
June 12 11:30 a.m. ET Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Guardians
June 19 Noon ET Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals
June 26 Noon ET New York Mets at Miami Marlins
July 3 Noon ET Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers
July 10 Noon ET Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
July 17 Noon ET Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays
July 24 Noon ET Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies
July 31 Noon ET Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays
August 7 Noon ET Houston Astros at Cleveland Guardians
August 14 Noon ET San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals
August 21 Noon ET Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Guardians
August 28 Noon ET Los Angeles Dodgers at Miami Marlins
September 4 Noon ET Toronto Blue Jays at Pittsburgh Pirates


Peacock Expands Management Team With Former Netflix, Hulu Hires

NBCUniversal has named former Netflix executive Shannon Willett as Peacock’s first chief marketing officer, and former Hulu SVP Brian Henderson as the streamer’s first EVP of programming. Willett and Henderson both report to Peacock President Kelly Campbell. 

Shannon Willett

Willett will be tasked with spearheading global marketing, brand management, creative, media planning, marketing operations, social, content marketing, subscriber growth and customer care. At Netflix, Willett ended her six-year career as VP of global marketing strategy and operations. 

Henderson will oversee global content strategy, including licensing original, international and emerging content. 

Brian Henderson

“Shannon is a fantastic strategic marketer with an incredible portfolio of brand-defining, best-in-class global campaigns, and her expertise will be critical to Peacock’s next phase of growth,” Campbell said in a statement. “And as a pioneer in the evolution of streaming content, Brian will be invaluable as we continue to expand our content offering and establish Peacock as the top general entertainment streaming service in the market.”

Peacock, which launched less than two years ago, has struggled to generate paying subscribers, ending 2021 with 9 million paid subscribers, and more than 24 million monthly active users. Netflix ended last year with 222 million subs, while Hulu had almost 41 million paid subs.

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Peacock Celebrates ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Debut with ‘WrestleMania 38’ Promotion

Peacock April 3 celebrated the launch of season four of “Yellowstone” streaming on NBCUniversal’s platform by re-creating the bunkhouse from the series inside AT&T Stadium at Wrestlemania 38.

Peacock, which has supplanted the erstwhile WWE Network SVOD service for professional wrestling, is streaming all four seasons of “Yellowstone.”

Upon arrival at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, guests were transported to Montana and the world of Yellowstone. The space completely transformed into the cowboy’s bunkhouse looking like a scene from the popular Paramount Network series. Inside, guests were fitted for custom boots by Wild Bill’s Western Wear, offered a whisky tasting, and enjoyed food and drink with ties to the show all among the buzz and excitement of WWE’s WrestleMania.

Guests included “Yellowstone”  star Jefferson White, Emmy Award-winning host Maria Menounos, NFL star George Kittle, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor, Eric Nelsen, actress Sainty Nelsen, and WWE legends Drew McIntyre, Sonya DeVille, X-Pac, Jinder Mahal and Jimmy Hart.

At the intersection of legacy, family and politics, “Yellowstone” follows powerful patriarch John Dutton (played by Kevin Costner) as he defends his ranch from cutthroat land developers, an Indigenous tribe’s reservation and others who aim to control his land.