Universal Pictures Strikes Pay-One Deal With Peacock In A Blow To HBO

Universal Pictures Strikes Pay-One Deal With Peacock In A Blow To HBO

Comcast Corp.’s (CMCSA) movie studio Universal Pictures has entered into a multi-year deal with sister streaming service Peacock to exclusively stream its new films within four months of their theatrical debut, the Verge reported Tuesday.

What Happened: Beginning next year, theatrical releases from Universal will stream exclusively on Peacock for the initial four months as well as the final four months of the traditional 18-month pay-one window, as per the report. These titles will be released on other streaming services during the middle 10 months.

The company’s pay TV partnership with AT&T Inc.’s (T) HBO will expire at the end of this year.  

Universal’s theatrical releases slated for next year include “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” The deal with Peacock also includes films from NBCUniversal’s film studios such as DreamWorks, Illumination, and Focus Films.

 

As part of the deal, Universal will reportedly produce exclusive releases for Peacock.

Why It Matters: The move is part of efforts by Comcast to boost its recently launched streaming service amid stiff competition from rival streaming services.  

In April, Walt Disney Company (DIS) and Sony Group Corporation’s (SONY) Sony Pictures Entertainment said they entered into a multi-year content licensing deal that will give Disney U.S. streaming and television rights for “Spider-Man” and other upcoming Sony movies after their initial runs on Netflix Inc. (NFLX).

Netflix too reached a deal in April for exclusive U.S. streaming rights to Sony’s theatrical releases during the pay-one period between a cinema release and a DVD/Blu-ray premiere.

Online streaming services have seen huge demand following the closure of theaters and people being forced to stay at home due to the pandemic. Subscription video-on-demand platforms, including Disney+ and Netflix, now boast of having millions of subscribers globally.

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