NBC Universal will continue to sell shows to rival platforms and streamers after it launches its own SVOD service but has warned that some of its hits are currently “under monetized” online.
Steve Burke, CEO of the Comcast-owned Hollywood studio, said that that ad-supported streaming service, which will launch in 2020, will be a financial boon for the company “because in effect we’re going to be a brand new buyer”.
Speaking after Comcast’s fourth-quarter and year-end financial results, he said, “We have long sold to everyone, we’ve sold to SVOD, we’ve sold to cable channels and broadcast channels that we don’t own and the feeling is if you’re in the TV business you should work with the best people and the best shows, wherever it makes the most sense. We’ll have the same philosophy ourselves, we do feel we significantly undermonetize on the internet on free platforms and SVOD platforms so as more content becomes available, I think a lot is going to be on our platform but we will continue to sell to other platforms depending on the show and the prices we can command for those products.”
His comments come after he told Deadline that it was a “fair assumption” that it would try to reclaim key titles such as The Office for the new service. He was also bullish about the amount of programming that the SVOD play would have at launch, a warning to the likes of Netflix and Amazon that it would be making plays for a number of other titles.
“It’s fair to assume that when we launch, we’ll have a lot of content, that will only increase over time and we’ll go show by show and figure out what makes sense when those rights come back to us,” he said.