Peacock’s other comedies are getting a boost from The Office, according to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell.
Speaking on parent company Comcast’s earnings call Thursday, Shell said that Peacock is already becoming an ecosystem unto itself, with users coming for The Office or English Premier League soccer and staying to watch other programs.
The company reported that Peacock now has 33 million sign-ups and is running ahead of expectations.
“People are signing up, they're using it more than we expected and advertisers are very interested in buying it,” Shell said. “So this steady growth is very promising for us.”
Peacock added a big prize on Jan. 1 when The Office moved from Netflix. Shell said the sitcoms viewing might have increased since the move.
“We've had it now for almost a month. Very pleased with how it's doing,” he said. “Our usage among our customers is actually higher than we think the usage was amongst Netflix customers.”
Shell added that The Office is boosting other shows on Peacock, particularly its comedies.
“More importantly what's happening is we're seeing that people who are watching The Office on Peacock are watching lots of other comedies. So it's really driving Parks and Rec, and really driving Brooklyn Nine-Nine amongst others. So there's kind of an eco-system.”
Sports is also having a positive impact on Peacock, which is adding the exclusive streaming rights to WWE content, including the pay-per-view events that had been on WWE Network.
“We've talked in previous quarters about how EPL has really worked for us and how those viewers also came in, and to our surprise, a much greater percentage of them then watched other things like Yellowstone and our comedies,” Shell said.
WWE was the perfect property to add to Peacock, Shell said because it gives Peacock thousands of more hours of programming that had previously been behind a pay wall with WWE Network.
NBCU will now be able to monetize that content via advertising, he said.
Having WWE on Peacock will also enable NBCU to support its investment in the WWE programming that runs on its USA cable network.
“This kind of perfectly fits into our model of operating the [TV] business as a whole and cross promoting and selling advertising clients one one platform one solution,” he said. “We believe there's kind of an ecosystem here like the old world of broadcast where you can cross-promote people into different things and that certainly seems to be working. I think comedy and sports are two of the success stories certainly so far.”
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.
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