The switch, which is set to take effect in September, is no surprise and comes after weeks of speculation. Although it hasn’t been officially announced, it has been confirmed on the deadline by several people familiar with the decision.
NBCU was an original partner of Hulu when it launched in 2007 but is the current parent Comcast disengaging from the service which is now run by its majority owner, Disney. Comcast will maintain a financial stake in Hulu until 2024, with the acquisition not an easy gambit to pull out given the rapid rise in broadcasting in general. Wall Streeters speculated that the parties could negotiate an early exit, but the incentive is much more than Disney given that the value of Hulu should continue to rise.
Starting this fall, including performances SNL, the sound And the American cars It will not be available to stream on Hulu the day after the broadcast. The full list of programming moving to Peacock has yet to be finalized, given it’s a complex web of next-day broadcast rights, cable titles, studios, movies, and library fare.
The move comes amid a steady uptick in the flow. Peacock, which launched in mid-2020, has attracted 16 million premium subscribers to date from both independent customers and those who have joined pay-TV or broadband packages. Total monthly active usage is 24.5 million accounts, which is ahead of initial expectations. In the company’s latest earnings call, executives said they intend to increase spending and take bolder steps in order to capitalize on recent subscriber momentum. Peacock’s initial focus upon launch was on its free ad-supported level, in part due to a number of outstanding performances, from the Olympics to Premier League football to the originals written by Covid.
Disney said in its latest quarterly financial report that Hulu had 45.3 million subscribers at the beginning of January.
Representatives for Comcast, NBCU, Hulu, and Disney did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment.
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