Comcast brass made the bold claim that it is better positioned to push ahead in streaming than any other in the world as it leverages its newly announced Peacock service with divisions across the board, and that’s good news for linear TV too.
Peacock’s ability to tap resources from wireless, cable and broadcast, distribution, programming, tech and international through Sky means, “We could make more money in streaming than anyone else,” insisted chairman-CEO Brian Roberts on Thursday during a conference call with analysts after fourth-quarter earnings.
To start, Comcast will be tying Peacock, which unspools in April, to renewal talks with MVPD players — and said that there are a lot of deals coming up for renewal.
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Peacock revenue, Roberts said, will provide a stream of cash that will make more funds available for linear television.
“It will mean more money for the TV ecosystem [and] to invest in linear systems,” Roberts said. While much beleaguered and with rating on a continued downslide, traditional television is present and still the equation. Streaming “It’s a way to make us bigger and stronger in a way that’s good for all our businesses,” Roberts said. So let’s all play nice.
The giant media conglom is the first to report this earnings cycle and considered a bellwether for the industry.
Comcast execs compared the Peacock’s tiers of service to Spotify. There’s a free entry-level service for Comcast subscribers, including 15,000 of hours of shows with hits like The Office, movies and live broadcasts of news programming and sports — i.e., the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
That content, also with ads, is available for $5 direct to consumer as a stand-alone service.
The ad tiers are good news for advertisers and consumers, as report after report has noted pocketbook fatigue with the growing army of streaming services.
Comcast also continued the new trend of lauding higher “customer relationships” with no pretense that it includes video subscribers who continue to peel off, or that the company cares either way, because, across the cable industry, becoming less and less worth the expenditures to attract and keep them. The new philosophy for video subs — here’s your hat, what’s your rush.
High-margin connectivity with high-speed Internet for business, and residential are what’s growing and Comcast said it has had great success promising speed, control, security and privacy.
Comcast is also hawking its Infinity Mobile Wireless services at brick-and-mortar Infinity Mobile stories — now at some 300 stand-alone stores in the 40 states it’s in.
Other nuggets from the call: A new Nintendo Land attraction is expected to be a huge draw at Universal’s Japan park this year.
News network MSNBC got a rare shout as a standout in the cable network business — buoyed no doubt by impeachment, impeachment, impeachment.
And Cats was, unsurprisingly, not mentioned. The Universal bomb — acknowledge as such even by the studio — participated in a 21% drop in film revenue last quarter against some pretty good movies the year before.
Execs said they’re upbeat about 2020 including Trolls World Tour in July, Minions: The Rise of Gru and the ninth chapter in the Fast & Furious saga.
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