The widespread wreckage of mainstream media giants on the rocks of streaming content is beginning to pile up in 2023. The latest casualty according to new reports is NBC’s Peacock streaming service which has lost a crippling half-billion dollars in just 90 days and threatens to lose almost $3 Billion by the end of 2023.
According to The American Tribune, in the third quarter of 2023, the flagship streaming service of NBC Universal absorbed a loss of about $565 million which is astonishingly an improvement over the service’s devastating 2022 losses. In the same quarter of 2022, Peacock claimed $614 million in NBC’s deficit column.
The outlet observed that Peacock by this point has lost approximately $1.92 Billion and stands to lose an amount in the neighborhood of $2.8 Billion despite accruing an additional 4 million streaming subscribers in the same quarter.
The streaming service now brings in revenues on the order of about $840 million which is a 64% annual jump over 2022 but is still losing billions.
Live sport helps NBC add 4m Peacock subscribers and narrow streaming losses https://t.co/Kw95F4bcxZ
— Kit Magazine (@kit_magazine) October 30, 2023
Sports Pro Media reported that in a call with investors, Comcast, NBC Universal’s parent corporation, said that linear and streaming platforms are offering the leading opportunity for intellectual rights holders to manage a shift from analog to digital distribution. He noted in particular that much of the streaming network’s profits have been “driven by sports.” The service now offers National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the Olympic Games, Big Ten college football, Premier League soccer, PGA Tour golf, the WWE Network, and is reportedly courting the National Basketball Association (NBA).
“Our company has a long, deep, rich history in sports … We’ve got a great team and culture of big events … and with Peacock now we have the most live sports of any of the streaming services,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said.
“We present a somewhat unique ability to help [rights holders] gain the maximum engagement now with broadcast and cable … and [offer them] a robust streaming service that has had a superb quarter – a lot of that is driven by sports on Peacock.”
Despite the staggering losses, Comcast President Mike Cavanagh said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, “We continue to be pleased with our progress in the few short years since we’ve pivoted our streaming strategy as a result of the ownership changes at Hulu.”
In July, Comcast announced the first-ever rate hikes for Peacock moving the network from a $1 per month plan to $5.99/mo. on ad-supported content and moving ad-free streaming from $2 per month to $11.99/mo. according to Yahoo! Finance.