More than a full year before its national launch, NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock made one of its first big programming deals, paying $500 million over five years to outbid incumbent streaming service Netflix to secure exclusive U.S. streaming rights to The Office.
Speaking Tuesday to investors about the pocket-to-pocket transaction that will deliver the NBCU-produced single-camera classic series to Peacock starting on Jan. 1, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell said, “If you try to watch The Office on Netflix right now, it’s pretty hard to find.”
Maybe not hard enough?
Backing Shell’s assertion: A Netflix user can scroll through "TV comedies" from left to right all day, and the nine seasons of The Office that are still very much alive on the No. 1 SVOD service will not surface.
Ditto, the show doesn’t appear in the “Top 10 in the U.S. Today” section of the Netflix home screen.
It’s understandable that Netflix wouldn’t want to throw valuable promotional resources to a show that will leave its platform and surface on a competitor in a manner of weeks. But the lack of visibility for boss Michael Scott, Jim, Pam and the rest of the Duner Mifflin staff seems to be at odds with the viewership of the show as measured by outside arbitors.
Notably, The Office has regularly appeared as a top show week after week in Nielsen’s top 10 ranking of the most viewed SVOD shows, which ranks programs based on aggregate minutes watched in a given week.
For the most recent Nielsen ranking—the week ending Nov. 8—The Office was No. 2 with 192 episodes generating 1.093 billion minutes of viewing time, trailing only Netflix limited series The Queen’s Gambit.
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