What to Know
- Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Starz announced an agreement Monday to license content to one another.
- This means that when NBC’s Peacock streaming service launches in April 2020, users will have access to hundreds of Starz films and shows.
- The agreement will diversify the content on Peacock, which will include more than 15,000 hours of original and older NBC content.
The two companies have entered a long-term agreement that will give NBC’s Peacock streaming service a fresh batch of content. The deal means that when Peacock launches in April 2020, users will have access to hundreds of films and shows produced by Starz, which is owned by Lionsgate. NBCUniversal has also agreed to license out content to Starz for its own streaming service. The agreement will also see the continued carriage of the Starz cable networks on Xfinity TV.
“We are pleased that we were able to extend the partnership to Peacock and other businesses within Comcast while also ensuring Xfinity customers continue to enjoy great Starz programming,” Comcast Cable’s President of Consumer Services Dana Strong said in a statement.
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The agreement will build out the offerings of Peacock, which will also include more than 15,000 hours of NBC content, including new originals such as a “Saved By The Bell” reboot with members of the original cast and “Dr. Death,” based on the popular podcast. The streaming service will also include older series that aired on NBC including “The Office” (beginning in 2021), “Cheers” and “Friday Night Lights.”
The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement, nor did they say which shows and movies will be licensed out. Lionsgate produced films like the “John Wick” trilogy and “The Hunger Games.”
“We look forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with Comcast to deliver great content and great value to our customers,” Starz President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch said. “Our ongoing relationship with Comcast reflects our ability to unlock opportunities across all of our businesses to the benefit of our subscribers.”
NBC is seeking to distinguish Peacock from other streaming services in the increasingly crowded sector after Apple and Disney entered the fray in the past couple of months. NBC will seek to capture a share of the market by including live content and embracing a tiered pricing structure.
CNBC reported last week that Peacock will integrate live offerings from NBC News Now, NBC’s free streaming news service. Different versions of Peacock are still being beta-tested, people familiar with the matter said.
NBC is also considering offering an ad-supported version of Peacock free for everyone, bucking the trend of charging for streaming products, according to people familiar with the matter. It would be the first free streaming on-demand video service from a major U.S. media provider. A $5 and $10 per month plan will also be available for users who want ad-free content and broader selection, though the plans are not final.
NBC will announce the final details for Peacock on Jan. 16.
-- CNBC’s Alex Sherman contributed to this report.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which owns CNBC.
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