NBCU's Burke: Comcast Could Make Most Money in Streaming

Steve Burke
Steve Burke (Image credit: Lisa Berg/NBC)

Comcast expects to be able to make more money from streaming than any other company in the world, according to Steve Burke, chairman of Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit.

On Comcast’s fourth-quarter earnings call Thursday, Burke said that looking at Comcast’s broadband business and its Flex and soon-to-launch Peacock streaming businesses, will be big money makers.

“I think our company is better positioned as the world moves to streaming than any other company in the world,” Burke said. “I think you could argue that in the next 10 to 20 years, if you look at all those three businesses combined, we could make more money in streaming than anyone else, by a lot."

Burke added that he expects most cable and satellite companies to make a deal with NBCU to provide Peacock to their customers. NBCU already has a deal with Cox.

There will be a version of Peacock that’s available to all consumers for free that offers about 7,500 hours of content. A premium version of Peacock has 15,000 hours of content and will cost $5 a month, but will be free to Comcast subscribers. Other MVPDs can make a deal with NBCU to give Peacock Premium for free to their subscribers.

“That universe is still about 80%, so 80% of the people in America I think eventually are going to be able to get that $5 product for free,” Burke said.

“It’s such a great value to be able to give all of your customers a product that’s $5 a month in value, or $60 a year, for free, that I think eventually we will get the vast majority if not all of cable and satellite.

He said some of the negotiations won’t happen until NBCU’s current deals with MVPDs are up. 

“We have a lot of big deals up this year,” Burke said, “but I think by the end of this year you’re going to see the $5 Peacock product be offered for free to a lot of cable and satellite customers.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.