This Peacock is taking flight on April 15.
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That’s what NBCUniversal Chairman and CEO Steve Burke revealed to investors at the Comcast company’s Thursday investor meeting in New York City, which was dedicated to the upcoming streaming service. But the April 15 launch is only for Comcast's Xfinity customers. Non-Xfinity viewers will have to wait until July 15.
"We are creating the equivalent of a 21st-century broadcast business, delivered on the internet," he told the audience while on stage.
In his own words, NBCUniversal has failed to monetize its digital programming on ad-supported platforms it doesn’t operate like Hulu and YouTube. For this reason, the company has been working on Peacock for the last 18 months.
The platform is combining advertising-based and subscription-based models to monetize itself in a way that is unique from streaming competitors YouTube, Facebook, Pluto, Tubi, Netflix, Hulu and Disney+. Going this route will allow Peacock to offer non-premium and premium content that covers linear television and digital streaming.
NBCUniversal’s Chairman of Digital Enterprises Matt Strauss also took to the stage to share how Peacock intends to get on television screens across the country.
A zero-cost, ad-supported Peacock Free will offer around 7,500 hours of content while a $4.99 ad-supported Peacock Premium will offer over 15,000 hours of content in addition to original programming. Peacock will be bundled for free for Xfinity and Cox subscribers – who will get first access to the streaming service in the spring.
Ads on the platform will be limited to five minutes per hour, which Strauss said is consumer-friendly enough to combat streaming fatigue because it undercuts the industry’s advertising average of eight minutes per hour in the U.S.
An international launch is set for 2021, though Strauss stressed this be done on a market-by-market basis.
NBCUniversal anticipates it will have 30 to 35 million users by 2024 as well as $2.5 billion in revenue ($6 to $7 average revenue per user).
In terms of original programming, NBCUniversal brought out actress and comedian Tina Fey to plug her new show “Girls 5Eva,” which is currently in production. Late-night TV hosts Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon also stopped by to discuss their streaming projects, including Fallon’s new program, “The Kids Tonight Show.”
In addition, both Fallon's "Tonight" and Meyers' "Late Night" will break new ground on Peacock and broadcast TV as both programs will now air first on Peacock, instead of on the NBC Television Network and its affiliated stations. "Tonight" will be available at 8 pm ET and "Late Night" at 9 pm ET. Both shows are taped before live audiences earlier in the broadcast day.
Prolific producer Dick Wolf inked a six-show streaming deal with his Windy City dramas: "Chicago Fire" "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Med." Wolf's “Law & Order” franchise -- which at one time boasted as six spinoffs on NBC -- will have a presence on the streaming service as well with the three most popular versions of the program the original "Law and Order," "Law and Order: SVU" and "Law and Order: Criminal Intent." Still given that as Netflix has proven you never have enough content, one can't rule out that the other "L&O" series -- "Law & Order: LA," "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" or "Law & Order: True Crime" will not be part of the service down the road.
Comedian Kevin Hart’s multi-year deal with Peacock for his Laugh Out Loud Network was also mentioned during the meeting, though the star was not present for the announcement.
Additional scripted originals in Peacock’s development pipeline includes “Angelyne,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Saved by the Bell,” “Punky Brewster,” “Brave New World,” “Dr. Death” and “Rutherford Falls.”
The streaming service has also partnered with Comcast "sister companies" Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation and Telemundo, which are all set to produce original content as well.
Peacock will be led by Jeff Shell, the chairman of NBCUniversal's film and network television businesses, who is succeeding Burke.