Universal Filmed Entertainment Group said it is licensing all of its theatrical movies to Peacock, beginning with the 2022 slate, keeping the assets all in the Comcast corporate family.
HBO currently licenses Universal’s films.
As they turn to the direct-to-consumer business from traditional pay TV, media companies are enlisting their studios to buttress their start-up streaming services. Warner Bros. films appear on HBO Max, Paramount’s pictures are a cornerstone of Paramount Plus and Disney Plus has films from the company’s Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars brands.
Universal’s new deal with Peacock is different from past licensing agreements. Peacock will get the films earlier -- no later than four months after they premiere in theater -- and it will have the films exclusively for the first four months and last four months of what has traditionally an 18-month Pay-One window. Universal will license the films for the middle 10 months to additional distributors, generating some incremental cash.
Universal will also be developing and producing exclusive original films exclusively for Peacock.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Last week, Peacock premiered The Boss Baby: Family Business, the second film of that Universal franchise.
“Since launching Peacock just one year ago, we have seen incredible viewership of movies and continue to expand our catalog with a range of films for every fan and occasion,” said Matt Strauss, chairman, direct-to-consumer and international for NBCUniversal. “Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has been a fantastic partner and we are excited to not only bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock in the first-pay window, but also provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.”
Universal’s 2022 theatrical slate includes Jurassic World: Dominion, a new film from Jordan Peele, new movies from DreamWorks Animation including The Bad Guys and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, as well as Minions: The Rise of Gru from Illumination.
“This new dynamic Pay-One agreement demonstrates UFEG’s continued commitment to building a film ecosystem that allows filmmakers and artists to reach the broadest possible audience, celebrates and strengthens the theatrical experience, and, above all, empowers fans to experience the films they love on their own terms,” said Peter Levinsohn, vice chairman and chief distribution officer at Universal, in a statement. “We’re excited to become Peacock’s first Pay-One partner while the platform continues to curate and build a vast film library that will delight its rapidly growing subscriber base.”
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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.