Peacock Launching Regency-Era Dating Show

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming platform is entering the reality dating business. The SVOD/AVOD service July 7 announced the series order of “Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance,” a new Regency-style dating series that claims to bring romance back to dating.

A yet uncast heroine looking for her duke will be staged in a Regency-style castle in England, where a group of eligible suitors will have to win her heart and her court.

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Set against a backdrop of rolling hills, the heroine and suitors will experience carriage rides and boat rides on the lake to archery and handwritten letters to communicate, they will be immersed in a time-traveling quest for love. In the end, the heroine and her suitors will discover if the ultimate romantic experience will find them true love.

The series is an original format developed and produced by Endemol Shine North America in association with Shine TV. Anthony Dominici serves as Executive Producer with Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre, Michael Heyerman for Endemol Shine North America and Susy Price for Shine TV.

Universal to Move Pay 1 Movies to Peacock From HBO

Universal Pictures July 6 disclosed it will begin distributing feature films through NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, instead of HBO, in the Pay 1 window beginning in 2022.

The move, which impacts Universal franchises such as “Jurassic World,” “Fast and Furious” and “Despicable Me,” is aimed at bolstering Peacock sign-ups in addition to offering third-party distributors non-exclusive access. Specifically, Peacock will have exclusive access for the first four months and last four months of the 18-month Pay 1 window. Select third-party streamers and/or streaming service will have access to the movies during the middle 10-month period.

The unconventional pay-one structure mimics Universal’s new distribution deals with theaters that enables it to offer theatrical titles into the premium VOD window just 17 days after their box office debut depending on ticket sales.

“Since launching Peacock just one year ago, we have seen incredible viewership of movies and continue to expand our catalog with a range of films for every fan and occasion,” Matt Strauss, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international at NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has been a fantastic partner and we are excited to not only bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock in the first-pay window, but also provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.”

By showcasing content across multiple platforms throughout the Pay 1 window, Universal says the titles will constantly refresh across the streaming ecosystem ensuring no title or platform is oversaturated.

This approach allows multiple audiences across a variety of streaming services to experience Universal’s award-winning and critically acclaimed film slate, according to Peter Levinsohn, vice chairman and chief distribution officer of UFEG.

“This new dynamic Pay 1 agreement demonstrates UFEG’s continued commitment to building a film ecosystem that allows filmmakers and artists to reach the broadest possible audience, celebrates and strengthens the theatrical experience, and, above all, empowers fans to experience the films they love on their own terms,” Levinsohn said.

Survey: Almost Two-Thirds of U.S. Video Streamers Have Switched From Ad-Free to Ad-Supported Services

Almost two-thirds (60%) of American video streamers said they have switched from ad-free to ad-supported streaming services in the past year, according to a survey from Piplsay, a global consumer research platform.

Meanwhile, 28% of them said they had completely switched to ad-supported streaming services.

Half (49%) of Americans were extremely satisfied with the content offered on ad-supported streaming services.

Hulu (34%) and Peacock (23%) were the top choices for paid and free ad-supported streaming services, respectively.

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Piplsay surveyed more than 27,800 people in the United States over the past week.

Peacock To Stream All NHL Stanley Cup Final Games

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service July 1 announced that all remaining 2021 Stanley Cup Final hockey games will stream on the service as they are broadcast live on NBC.

Game 3 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens begins July 2 at 8 p.m. ET from Bell Centre in Montreal. NBC Sports’ Kenny Albert will handle play-by-play duties alongside U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and former NHL goalie Brian Boucher (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst).

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The following schedule details NBC Sports’ remaining coverage of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final:

Date Coverage Network/Platform Time (ET)
Fri., July 2 Game 3 – Tampa Bay at Montreal NBC/Peacock 8 p.m.
Mon., July 5 Game 4 – Tampa Bay at Montreal NBC/Peacock 8 p.m.
Wed., July 7 Game 5 – Montreal at Tampa Bay* NBC/Peacock 8 p.m.
Fri., July 9 Game 6 – Tampa Bay at Montreal* NBC/Peacock 8 p.m.
Sun., July 11 Game 7 – Montreal at Tampa Bay* NBC/Peacock 7 p.m.

*if necessary

The Stanley Cup Final is the latest addition to Peacock’s growing sports programming with upcoming live sports coverage on the service, including the ongoing Tour de France bicycle race, 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Premier Lacrosse League, INDYCAR, Premiership Rugby, the 2021-22 Premier League season, 2021 Sunday Night Football, and Super Bowl LVI. Peacock Originals streaming on the service now include “Lost Speedways,” hosted by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; “Golden: The Journey of USA’s Elite Gymnasts”; “My Pursuit: Life, Legacy & Jordan Burroughs”; “The Greatest Race”; “Michael Phelps: Medals, Memories & More”, and “In Deep With Ryan Lochte.” Peacock also offers daily sports programming on the NBC Sports channel which streams Peacock original “Brother From Another,” as well as “The Dan Patrick Show,” “PFT Live” and “The Rich Eisen Show.”

All coverage of the Stanley Cup will be available on Peacock Premium. Viewers can sign up at peacocktv.com. Peacock is currently available across myriad devices. Peacock Premium is included at no additional cost for Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour customers.

Comcast Seeking to Jumpstart Peacock Sub Growth via Connected TVs

Comcast reportedly is working with Chinese TV manufacturer Hisense and Walmart to market a line of connected televisions featuring the Peacock app, among others.

The media giant reported 42 million Peacock sign-ups through the first quarter (ended March 31). While the tally may seem large considering the AVOD/SVOD platform’s launch just nine months prior, the number of actual paying subs (10 million, according to The Walt Street Journal) suggests the service needs some help.

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Peacock will figure prominently next month during the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Summer Olympics, streaming some marquee events live — to paid subscribers.

Increasing that paid base — at a time when rivals Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have a combined 450+ million subs — has become a major goal for Comcast senior management.

Speaking May 26 on the virtual JPMorgan 49th Annual Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference, CFO Michael Cavanagh shed further light on the metrics, saying about one-third (or 13.8 million) of sign-ups use Peacock on a monthly basis. How many of them are paying a subscription remains unclear.

“We certainly would like to see more signups, more hours used,” Cavanagh said, adding the platform remains a work-in-progress convincing users to stream live sports (Premier League soccer), original sitcoms such as “Rutherford Falls,” “The Office” re-runs and live news going forward.

Earlier this month, NBCUniversal and Samsung announced that Peacock would available on Samsung Smart TVs. The partnership is noticeable since Samsung markets its own branded ad-supported streaming video platform.

“Samsung is a powerful platform and we are excited to bring Peacock to millions of their dedicated streamers across the country,” said Maggie McLean Suniewick, president of business development and partnerships for Peacock.

Indeed, Comcast wants to use Peacock as lure to entice CE manufacturers to incorporate the platform as a conduit for third-party apps linked to the internet, similar to what Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Chromecast market.

The Journal reports that under the project name “PlatCo,” the cable TV giant is working to develop a line of connected TVs manufactured by China’s Hisense and sold in Walmart stores under the chain’s onn brand. Walmart also works with Roku for onn-branded soundbars.

“We’re learning as we go [on Peacock],” Cavanagh said. “And that is shaping our plans as we go forward. We’ve brought content production back. Working on getting Peacock on other platforms.”

Peacock Gets Amazon Fire TV Distribution

NBCUniversal’s SVOD/AVOD platform Peacock is finally getting distribution on Amazon Fire TV — a gateway (along with Roku) the streaming service has lacked since launching a year ago. The absence, say many observers, has contributed to sluggish subscriber growth for Peacock, while app downloads have increased.

NBCUniversal and Amazon disclosed that Peacock, along with 15 network apps, would be made available on Fire TV and Fire tablets in the United States beginning June 24. Amazon, along with Roku, reportedly represent gateways to 70% of connected homes domestically.

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In a virtual call last month with a Wall Street investor group, Comcast Corp. chairman/CEO Brian Roberts said he was looking for more Peacock sign-ups going forward.

Comcast reported 42 million Peacock sign-ups (not subscribers) through the end of the fiscal period ended March 31. But that tally includes three access options, including a free ad-supported option with limited content; a $4.99 monthly option with ads; and a $9.99 ad-free tier.

The Wall Street Journal last month reported that only about 10 million people actually pay for Peacock on a monthly basis.

Peacock to Stream Tokyo Olympics Live, Including Gymnastics, Track & Field, and Basketball 

Peacock June 23 announced it will launch a Tokyo Olympics destination on July 15, featuring live coverage of some the Games’ marquee events, including gymnastics, track & field, and the U.S. men’s basketball team’s pursuit of their fourth straight gold medal. In addition, Peacock will feature new daily live shows, original programming, Olympics channels, full event replays and curated highlights of NBC’s Olympics coverage.

All Tokyo Olympics programming will be available to stream for free (with ads), with the exception of men’s basketball live coverage that will be available to Peacock Premium subscribers. The platform will feature live coverage every morning of men’s and women’s gymnastics and men’s and women’s track and field.

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Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila will host Peacock’s morning show ”Tokyo LIVE.” Two-time Olympic medalist Laurie Hernandez will serve as a studio analyst for gymnastics along with Olympic medalist Bridget Sloan and three-time Olympian John Roethlisberger calling the action live across all men’s and women’s gymnastics events: the team finals, the all around competition, and individual event finals.

Peacock will stream the fastest women and men in the world competing for gold in the 100 meter on July 31 and Aug. 1, respectively. Track & Field live coverage also includes the 4 x 100 meter relay, 4 x 400 meter relay, 200 meter and 400 meter. Bill Spaulding will call track & field play-by-play alongside Olympian analysts Tim Hutchings and Alysia Montano.

As home to men’s basketball, Peacock will stream live coverage of the games, beginning with USA vs. France on July 25. Bob Fitzgerald will call play-by-play alongside analysts Fran Fraschilla and Vince Carter, gold medalist and eight-time NBA All-Star.

Peacock will make it easy for fans to catch up and keep up on the Tokyo Games with new hosts and contributors, channels, curated playlists, highlights, and full event replays.

Amber Ruffin, host, writer and executive producer of Peacock’s late-night series ”The Amber Ruffin Show,” will be on the ground in Tokyo providing her own unique, comedic analyses of the competition, as well as a look-back at her own experiences in the world of sports.

Former ESPN host Rich Eisen will spearhead “Tokyo Gold,”  a daily, comprehensive look at the most compelling performances of the day including in-depth stories, expert analysis, and athlete interviews.

Lindsay Czarniak, Lolo Jones and MJ Acosta-Ruiz will host ”On Her Turf at the Olympics,” the first NBC Olympics show dedicated to covering women’s sports at the Games. Katie Ledecky, Allyson Felix, Alex Morgan, April Ross, and Alix Klineman will be among athletes featured.

Cari Champion and ex-ESPN host Kenny Maynewill host “Tokyo Tonight,” which will bring fans into the Games with quick turnaround highlights as well as interviews and feature stories every evening. Jac Collinsworth will serve as contributor to Tokyo Tonight on-location in Tokyo.

“Tokyo LIVE,” “Tokyo Gold,” “On Her Turf at the Olympics” and  “Tokyo Tonight” all stream daily on ”Tokyo Now,” which will be complemented by five additional channels, including:

  • Great Moments: launching June 23, a collection of the most thrilling moments of past Olympics
  • Meet the Olympians: profiles and documentaries about top athletes, past and present
  • Must-See Moments: buzziest moments from past Games​​
  • Team USA: highlights of Team USA competing for gold medals in Tokyo​​
  • Tokyo Flame: an always-on livestream of the Olympic flame​ for people who just want to bask in the glow of the Games

 

will curate highlights and full event replays by sport to make it easy for fans to stay current on the 7,000 hours of NBC Olympics coverage.

In addition to Olympics-focused Peacock Originals already available to stream, including: “The ’96 Effect,” “Michael Phelps: Medals Memories and More,” “The Greatest Race,” “In Deep with Ryan Lochte,” and “My Pursuit: Life, Legacy & Jordan Burroughs, Peacock will continue to roll out new original programming leading up to and throughout the Olympics, including:

  • “Olympic Highlights with Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg”: This funny commentary series, co-hosted by sports and Olympics enthusiasts Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg, will recap the Olympics’ most impressive displays of athleticism, as well as the moments that don’t go as planned. Kevin and Snoop will be your comedy guides through the Tokyo Olympics. The series is produced by Hart’s LOL Studios. Paul Pawlowski will serve as showrunner and executive producer, along with executive producers Hart, Jeff Clanagan, and Candice Wilson Cherry.
  • “For Ball and Country”: With the USA Men’s Basketball Team’s fourth consecutive gold medal on the line at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games, there is much at stake. The show will follow the greatest men’s basketball players in America as they set aside their on-court rivalries and form a star-studded team to represent their country. In addition to an all-access look at the 2021 team’s training camp in Las Vegas, the series goes into USA Basketball video vault with never-before-seen footage of this storied program. From the iconic 1992 team to the “Redeem Team” to today, the documentary will provide a unique look into some of the greatest teams ever assembled. The show is produced by Winik Media in association with USA Basketball and NBA Entertainment.
  • “Golden”: This series follows elite American gymnasts Laurie Hernandez, Morgan Hurd, Sunisa Lee, Konnor McClain, and MyKayla Skinner on their individual and intertwining journeys as Team USA hopefuls leading up to the Tokyo Olympics. The series reveals how their preparation for the Games was fundamentally altered by the pandemic, over a five-month period as they continue their grueling training regimens.
  • The Sisters of ’96; The 1996 USA Women’s Olympic Soccer Team: When the U.S. Women’s National Team made it to the Olympic soccer in Atlanta, their gold medal match was not fully televised. Now, Peacock is making it available in full for the first time and debuting an hour-long special that reunites stars Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Shannon MacMillan, Briana Scurry, and Tisha Venturini. For the first time, the women will come together on the field where they played that inaugural Olympic final to watch the match together and give viewers have a front-row seat as they recount their victory and the lasting legacy of their team.

Peacock Orders Original Series Based on ‘Ted’ ‘R’-Rated Comedies

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service June 10 announced a straight-to-series order for “Ted,” from Universal Content Productions (UCP), a division of Universal Studio Group, and MRC Television.

The series is based on the Universal Pictures/MRC movie Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg and the highest-grossing original ‘R’-rated comedy of all time. Collectively Ted and Ted 2 grossed more than $765 million worldwide.

Creator Seth MacFarlane is in negotiations to reprise the voice of the lovable foul-mouthed teddy bear Ted. The live-action series will be executive produced by MacFarlane and Erica Huggins for Fuzzy Door.

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This is the second series order since MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door signed an overall development deal with UCP in 2020. Earlier this year, Peacock announced a series order of “The End is Nye,” hosted by Bill Nye. The series is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio and UCP, divisions of Universal Studio Group, and Fuzzy Door.

UCP is responsible for series such as Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Act,” “Monk,” “Homecoming,” “The Sinner,” “Suits,” “Dirty John” and “Psych.”  Upcoming titles include “Dr. Death,” starring Joshua Jackson, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater; and “Gaslit” starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn.

MRC’s series have been nominated for 94 Emmy Awards and 18 Golden Globe Awards. The current slate includes “Ozark,” from Chris Mundy and starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner, on Netflix; “The Great,” from Tony McNamara, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, on Hulu; “The Shrink Next Door,” starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd and from director Michael Showalter and writer Georgia Pritchett for Apple TV+; “The Terminal List,” for which Chris Pratt stars and executive produces alongside director Antoine Fuqua and writer David DiGilio, with Amazon Studios; “Shining Girls,” starring Elisabeth Moss and produced with Appian Way and Love & Squalor Pictures  for Apple TV+; the Rian Johnson series “Poker Face,” with T-Street and starring Natasha Lyonne for Peacock; and “Hello Tomorrrow!” starring Billy Crudup, from creators Amit Bhalla and Lucas Jansen and director Jonathan Entwistle for Apple TV+.

MRC’s previous series included Netflix’s “House of Cards” and “Counterpart,” among others.

Peacock to Launch on Samsung Smart TVs June 8

Peacock and Samsung June 7 announced that the NBCUniversal streaming service will be available on Samsung Smart TVs beginning June 8.

The Peacock app will bring tens of thousands of hours of on demand movies and shows, as well as live news and sports programming to Samsung Smart TV households nationwide.

“Samsung is a powerful platform and we are excited to bring Peacock to millions of their dedicated streamers across the country,” Maggie McLean Suniewick, president of business development and partnerships for Peacock, said in a statement.

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From the world premiere of The Boss Baby: Family Business to the Tokyo Olympics, Samsung users (with a Peacock subscription) will have access to major programming events, as well Peacock’s catalog of the movies, TV shows, news and sports.

“The launch of Peacock enables Samsung to augment its news and entertainment offerings with world-class content and programming from NBCUniversal,” said Salek Brodsky, VP of strategic partnerships & business development for Samsung Electronics, in a statement.

In addition to current season programming from NBC and Telemundo, recent Peacock Original premieres include comedies “Girls5eva” and “Rutherford Falls”; documentary series John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise; new episodes of “The Amber Ruffin Show”; dramas Dime Quién Soy: Mistress of War and Departure; and sports series “Golden: The Journey of USA’s Elite Gymnasts” and “Michael Phelps: Medals, Memories, & More.”

This content complements a library of shows including “The Office,” “Modern Family,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Cheers,” “Yellowstone,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Downton Abbey,” “Real Housewives,” “Top Chef,” and “Curious George,” as well as the “Jurassic Park,” “The Matrix” and “Ghostbusters” movie franchises.

Upcoming live events and specials on Peacock include “SummerSlam” from WWE, Miley Cyrus’s Pride Concert Special “Stand By You,” and sports coverage of the French Open, the Tokyo Olympics, Sunday Night Football and the Premier Lacrosse League.

The Peacock app also features news highlights from “Today,” “NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt,” “Meet the Press,” “Noticias Telemundo,” MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, “E! News” and “Access Hollywood.”

Peacock’s list of streaming channels includes clip-based channels such as Fallon Tonight and SNL Vault; exclusive news channel The Choice; sports channels GolfPass and NBC Sports; franchise-specific channels “The Real Housewives” and “Unsolved Mysteries”; and genre channels such as Peacock Reality and Classic TV Crime.

‘Boss Baby’ Sequel Coming to Peacock and Theaters on Same Day

The animated sequel The Boss Baby: Family Business will debut on the Peacock streaming service and in theaters on the same day, July 2.

The film, from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, will be available to Peacock Premium subscribers, who pay $4.99 a month for the service, at no additional cost. It’s the first time Peacock has had a simultaneous theatrical-streaming release.

Peacock is owned by Universal’s parent company, NBCUniversal.

The film features the voices of Alec Baldwin, Lisa Kudrow, James Marsden and Jeff Goldblum, and follows the Templeton brothers, who have become adults and drifted away from each other. Then, a new boss baby brings them together.

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