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NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has announced a name and programming line-up for its new streaming service. Peacock, an homage to NBC's mascot of yore, is an ad-supported, direct-to-consumer streaming platform that will launch in the spring of 2020.
NBC says the service will launch with 15,000 hours of programming -- mostly from its library of classic shows that will now have a home on the service such as The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Fraiser. The service will also launch with some of Universal and DreamWorks though on a non-exclusive basis.
This service launches at a time when the space is increasingly crowded and competitive. Recently, Apple (NASDAQ:APPL) announced that its Apple TV+ service would cost less than Netflix or Disney's (NYSE:DIS) planned service, pushing down the value of their respective shares. While Apple is launching its service with only a fraction of the content of Netflix, Disney+ or Peacock, its strategy of pricing it below the competition and giving users a lengthy free trial with the purchase of a new Apple devices means it will launch with an enormous install base. The company is expected to ship 70 million and 75 million iPhone 11s in 2019, per Taipei-based KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Details on pricing and a formal launch date of Peacock will be announced later. The platform will also feature news and sports verticals that will be revealed in the weeks and months to come.
Netflix Co-Founder Weighs In on Peacock
Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph is optimistic that more competition in the streaming space will help mature the market.
“As a consumer of television and movies, I love what’s happening,” Randolph, who left Netflix in 2003, said on “Closing Bell.” “I certainly don’t only watch Netflix. I enjoy the fact there are multiple companies producing content. I think it’s great for consumers.”
Randolph says because the company moves fast and maintains a start-up mentality, it will be well prepared to deal with the challenges the market throws at it.
“I hope there’s a lot of room,” Randolph told CNBC. “I don’t know what Netflix has up its sleeve, but I know culturally it is extremely well situated to do a great job in these coming years.”
The elephant in the room that Randolph isn't addressing is that Netlix's stock, with its high costs and heavy debt load, is priced like a high-growth startup even though Netflix's market is almost saturated.
“What’s embedded right now into the assumptions surrounding earnings is that at some point Netflix hits a plateau in its spend,” GHP Investment Advisors President and Chief Investment Officer Brian Friedman told Wccftech in an earlier interview. “Once it hits that plateau, it will be generating enough new content with a sufficient library, as the number of subscribers continues to rise, their profit margins will ultimately rise to quite significant levels.”
"My view is based on their current business model I don’t see an end in sight to the spending and their current margins will probably persist forever."
Battlestar Galactica Gets a 'Mr. Robot Reboot' on Peacock
One of the marquee properties that will launch on NBC's Peacock is a reboot of Battlestar Galactica.
This is the second reboot of the 1970s sci-fi show. The last reboot of the show premiered in 2003 and was a gritty reimagining of the concept as an allegory for terrorism and religious warfare in a post-9/11 era of paranoia and suspicion. It's considered to be one of the best TV shows of all time, winning accolades for its writing.
Battlestar Galactica's remake clicked as the source material translated well during a decade defined by suspicion, paranoia, and occupation. Doing that all over again is going to feel dated. How will they keep this fresh? https://t.co/7dDlzBRk3t
— Sam Reynolds (@thesamreynolds) September 18, 2019
The rebooted series will be helmed by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and is a "new story within the mythology while staying true to the spirit of Battlestar.”