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NBC Will Debut Its "Peacock" Streaming Service in April

By Danny Vena – Updated Sep 18, 2019 at 1:47PM

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The broadcast network is hoping a diverse programming lineup will set its offering apart from the competition.

NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast (CMCSA 2.97%), revealed the name of its upcoming streaming service on Tuesday -- Peacock -- and said it would roll out in April 2020. The company said the moniker was a nod to NBC's "iconic logo," but it also distinguishes itself from several competitors like the new Disney and Apple streaming services by avoiding the "plus" designation used in both Disney+ and AppleTV+.

Peacock will be headlined by several of the broadcast network's biggest hits, including The Office and Parks and Recreation, which the company touted as two of the most watched streaming series. The new service will feature more than 15,000 hours of content when it debuts and will have both ad-supported and subscription options. NBC said it will announce the final decision on pricing and an exact launch date as it gets closer to its debut.

The logo for NBCUnivesal's new Peacock streaming service.

Image source: NBCUniversal.

A compelling mix of programming?

NBC is hoping that a diverse mix of content will set Peacock apart from the host of other streaming services entering the marketplace. Peacock will include not only television programs and hit movies but also news, sports, late-night, and reality programming.

Original content has been a key ingredient to the success of other streaming services, and Peacock will have its share. The company said in a press release that it would offer a broad slate of original shows, including Dr. Death, based on the true-crime podcast, and Brave New World, based on the dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley. The service will also offer reboots of the popular shows like Battlestar Galactica, Saved By the Bell, and Punky Brewster -- which features Soleil Moon Frye reprising her role as an adult.

Peacock will feature a laundry list of NBC's most popular current and classic television series, including 30 Rock, Bates Motel, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Will and Grace, and many more. The platform will also offer a robust slate of critically acclaimed films and box-office hits from NBC's Universal Pictures division, including American Pie, Bridesmaids, A Beautiful Mind, Back to the Future, and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The service will also feature a number films from the popular Bourne, Despicable Me, and Fast & Furious franchises.

The company will cater to the U.S. Hispanic audience by including 3,000 hours of programming from the No. 1 Spanish-language network, Telemundo -- another network owned by NBCUniversal -- including both new shows and hit programs from its library, like 100 Dias Para Volver, Betty in NY, El Baron, and Preso No. 1.

Another distinguishing characteristic of Peacock's streaming offering will be sports coverage, as the service will be included in NBCUniversal's cross-platform coverage of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo between July 24 and Aug. 9.

Writing fat checks

The streaming wars are heating up, and the newest players and tech giants alike are relying on headline television programs to draw in viewers.

NBCUniversal announced earlier this year that The Office would be leaving Netflix (NFLX 9.29%) in 2021 and that NBC is in talks to reboot the iconic series to headline its streaming service. At the same time, Netflix lost Friends to AT&T's upcoming HBO Max service, in a deal said to be worth $425 million. 

HBO Max has reportedly won the U.S. streaming rights to the hit comedy The Big Bang Theory, which concluded its 12-year run on CBS earlier this year. While the terms of the agreement weren't disclosed, reports suggest that the five-year deal was worth nearly $500 million. Netflix has the international streaming distribution rights for the show. 

Netflix reportedly paid more than $500 million for the worldwide streaming rights to Seinfeld after losing the The Office and Friends. The show will make its debut on Netflix in 2021 after finishing its current run on Disney's Hulu.

This illustrates just how critical must-watch content is to attracting viewers, and NBC is hoping that a diverse slate of content headlined by The Office will buttress its upcoming service. 

Danny Vena owns shares of Apple, Netflix, and Walt Disney and has the following options: long January 2021 $190 calls on Apple, short January 2021 $195 calls on Apple, and long January 2021 $85 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney, short October 2019 $125 calls on Walt Disney, short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple, short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, and long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Comcast. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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