Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, has announced that it expects to spend up to $2 billion on developing its new streaming platform Peacock over the next two years. The announcement was made today by Comcast CFO Mike Cavanaugh at UBS’s Global TMT Conference in New York City.
In his statement, Cavanaugh estimated that the new streaming platform will not be profitable until after the first five years. Cavanaugh did express his confidence in the long-term success of the project, saying, “We think we’ve got a pretty special opportunity, when you think about the relatively underserved segment of premium content [that is] ad-supported… Consumer demand is there, with all the pay-for SVOD services that are proliferating.”
Peacock, which is set to launch in April 2020, will be partially ad-supported, and Comcast pay-TV subscribers will have access to the platform without any additional charge. Non-Comcast subscribers will also be able to access Peacock for a fee, though the exact price details have not been announced. According to Cavanaugh, Comcast’s number one priority going into 2020 will be to increase its number of broadband customers, and offering Peacock as an added bonus could help attract potential subscribers.
“We make money in video… and it’s important to our customers,” Cavanagh said. “But given the rise of streaming and interest in streaming, there are increasingly homes where you can’t provide the full experience and expect to make money doing so… We’re not going to chase unprofitable relationships but rather figure out ways to give consumers choices.”
Upon its launch, Peacock will become the sole streaming home for popular comedy hits The Office and Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Saturday Night Live and Will & Grace. Peacock has also announced a couple different original series in the works, including a Battlestar Galactica reboot from Sam Esmail. No additional details on release dates or pricing have been announced.