Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) might not be posting the same kind of growth that Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) did out of the box with its Disney+ streaming channel, but the cable giant announced Wednesday that the Peacock streaming service had more than doubled the number of subscribers to the service, with 22 million at the end of the third quarter.

Having recently secured distribution rights on the Roku platform, Comcast may just see even more customers signing up.

Woman with laptop standing in front of dozens of video screens

Image source: Getty Images.

All streaming all the time

Both Comcast and Disney have benefited from the coronavirus pandemic, as related lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have caused consumers to turn to television for entertainment.

Comcast launched the Peacock service in mid-April as the ravages of the COVID-19 outbreak were setting in, but that was more of a trial run. The service didn't go national until July. In its second-quarter earnings report at the end of that month, Comcast reported some 10 million people had signed up for the streaming channel. In comparison, Disney reported Disney+ hit 10 million subscribers within 24 hours of launching.

Peacock was the last of the major streaming services to go live and it is competing against not only Disney+ and Netflix, but also Amazon's Prime Video, CBS All Access (recently rebranded to Paramount+), HBO Max, and Hulu. 

And unlike Disney, Comcast hasn't lined up many partnerships with other businesses to offer free trials.

Although Disney+ quickly hit 60 million subscribers within a few months of launch, many of those were the result of a partnership with Verizon, which gave away a year's free trial for anyone signing up for Fios. It remains to be seen how many customers stay after the free trials expire.

Comcast says it has exceeded every internal engagement metric for the new streaming service.