When NBCUniversal revealed details for streaming service Peacock to investors in January, one thing remained central to its marketing and programming strategy: the now-postponed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Despite being delayed to 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Peacock marched on and upheld its Wednesday launch date for Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex subscribers for no additional cost. The national launch is slated for July 15; however, the company is “evaluating” an earlier date, CNBC reported on Tuesday.
The Olympics weren’t the only thing affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Although Peacock Originals—such as the Saved by the Bell and Battlestar Galactica revivals—were scheduled for later this year, a “significant amount” of original productions will be moved to 2021, forcing the company to retool its strategy.
“The majority of our original productions have been paused,” said Matt Strauss, chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. “This will materially limit our original slate at launch and through 2020.”
But, as the streaming home for NBCUniversal’s most iconic shows, the service will rely on library content like all nine seasons of The Office, which will launch exclusively on Peacock in 2021. Until then, subscribers can enjoy 15,000-plus hours of streaming content, including the vast Dick Wolf series portfolio, Friday Night Lights and House, and popular films such as E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and more.
The lineup also includes shows such as This Is Us, Superstore, Law and Order: SVU and World of Dance the day after they air. On the other hand, NBC’s late-night programming, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, will stream early on Peacock at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively.
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Peacock also is leaning into iconic brands such as NBC News, Sky News, MSNBC, and CNBC, which will offer live news, same-day rebroadcasts, curated shorts, and exclusive coverage of the 2020 Election.
“Now more than ever there is a need for a free quality streaming service that can provide viewers with both the information they need to stay informed and entertainment they seek to escape the moment,” Strauss said in a statement.
When Peacock rolls out to the general public, three tiers will be available with varying levels of content: a free version, an ad-supported version for $4.99/month, and an ad-free for $9.99/month.
The company announced on Monday that Verizon, Subaru, Capital One, Molson Coors and L’Oreal have signed on as launch sponsors, joining previously-announced sponsors Apartments.com, State Farm, Target, and Unilever. Together, the group of companies “will help define the Peacock advertising experience,” NBCUniversal said in a statement.
NBCUniversal announced in January its hopes to reach 35 million active subscribers by 2024. That’s in contrast to the streaming wars’ final entrant HBO Max, which hopes to reach 75 to 90 million internationally by 2025 after launching next month.
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