Comcast officials said the soft launch of NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service has been better than expected, but added that it will not accelerate plans to fully launch the offering on July 15.
Two weeks ago, just prior to Peacock's soft launch, platform chairman Matt Strauss said NBCU was mulling an accelerated launch given the current high shelter-in-place audience levels.
Peacock launched to Comcast XFinity X1 cable customers and its Flex broadband-only subscribers on April 15. While the soft launch is only a few weeks old, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell said he was happy with customer adoption and their engagement with the service.
“The early results are very, very encouraging, particularly the amount of time that each person is spending on the platform,” Shell said on a conference call with analysts to discuss Q1 results.
But he added that there are no plans to launch the product nationwide any sooner.
“We’re in a marathon not a sprint,” Shell said. “We have an ad supported service, we don't see the value [in accelerating the national launch] and we’re not trying to gain subscribers and we want to make sure the product is right before we launch in July. This is kind of a measured strategy on our part and I think it’s the right strategy for Peacock and we’re very encouraged and even more optimistic on it long term.”
Peacock is free to Comcast and Cox (which licenses X1) cable customers -- it will cost about $4.99 per month to customers outside of its footprint -- and features about 15,000 hours of series, movies and other content from NBCUniversal networks and libraries. That list will expand later this year and in 2021 to include original shows and full seasons of past and present NBC broadcast series like The Office and This Is Us.
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