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Peacock Getting Ad Prices Above NBC Primetime, Jeff Shell Says

(Image credit: Peacock)

NBCUniversal is getting ad prices for Peacock that exceed NBC primetime on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis, according to NBCU CEO Jeff Shell.

Speaking on parent company Comcast’s earnings call Thursday, Shell said that when Peacock started it sold advertising on a sponsorship model with 10 charter sponsors. 

Peacock is exceeding the impression guarantees made to those sponsors, so NBCU has been able to sell some Peacock commercials on a spot basis this quarter.

“We are achieving CPMs that are equal or in some cases above what we’re getting on NBC prime, which is our gold standard,” Shell said.

Other media companies have said they get higher rates for ads on their streaming services because of low commercial loads and an enhanced ability to target specific viewer segments.

“We’re particularly pleased that we chose this business model, which is an ad-supported AVOD model, he said.

Shell said usage of Peacock is double projections. “To put that in context, the average Peacock MAA (monthly active account) is using Peacock more than an average TV user is watching NBC. We’re very pleased with that."

Comcast announced that Peacock has 42 million signups, up 9 million from last quarter. Of those signups about a third are monthly active accounts, which means they’re either paying a bill or using the service monthly. (Shell said quarterly active accounts would be 10 million higher).

In its first year, Peacock is roughly a third the size of 13-year-old Hulu, Shell said. Comcast is in the process of selling its interest in Hulu to The Walt Disney Co., which owns a controlling interested in Hulu.

Shell said Peacock’s performance is coming despite not getting to carry Olympics programming as expected or much of the original programming it had on its drawing board when it originally launched because of production delays caused by COVID 19.

“The streaming of original programming that we had planned to launch with is really coming in future quarters, so we’re very encourage,” he said.

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.