NBCUniversal's new streaming service, Peacock, will offer something surprising when it officially launches in the middle of this month: content from rival media name ViacomCBS (PARA -4.27%) (PARA.A -0.15%). NBCUniversal, owned by cable and media conglomerate Comcast (CMCSA -0.02%), made the announcement on Wednesday morning.
Peacock was first announced last September, and will enter an arena that's become even more crowded in the meantime. Not only will the service compete with established names like Netflix and Amazon.com's Prime, but also a relatively new subscription-based video service from Walt Disney has proven very popular as well.
Peacock, however, is an unusual entry in the sense that it will be the first such subscription-based streaming service to be subsidized by injecting television commercials into its video streams. That helps keep its cost to consumers down. For some users willing to tolerate more ads, Peacock will be free. Ad-free service will cost $9.99 per month.
Among the ViacomCBS content that will be accessible to Peacock subscribers when the service goes live on July 15 are TV series Undercover Boss, Ray Donovan, and Charmed. ViacomCBS will also supply several movies from its Paramount film arm to Peacock, including The Godfather trilogy, and Patriot Games.
ViacomCBS isn't granting sweeping exclusivity of all its content to NBCUniversal's service, however. Rather, ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group President Dan Cohen explained, "The partnership we are announcing today is consistent with our strategy to maximize the value of our content by selectively licensing our library product to third parties while prioritizing franchise IP for our own platforms." TV shows like Ray Donovan and Undercover Boss will also remain available through ViacomCBS's own distribution venues.