NBCU Picks 'Peacock' as Brand for Premium Streaming Service

NBCUniversal is going against the grain a bit with a new subscription streaming service that is slated to debut next spring.

Rather than going the route of Disney, ESPN and Apple by simply attaching "+" to the end of the name of their respective premium OTT offerings, NBCU is instead paying homage to its heritage and going with the name Peacock. However, the network's iconic peacock isn't in the Peacock logo, but the colors are all there:

Peacock has launched a teaser site where consumers can sign up to receive updates about the new streaming service.
Peacock has launched a teaser site where consumers can sign up to receive updates about the new streaming service.

What do you think of the name? Good, bad, indifferent? Is it a complete turkey? Is it at least better than Seeso, the name that NBCU picked for a comedy-focused SVoD service that went kaput in 2017? Hit the message boards, and let us know.

15,000-plus hours of stuff
NBCU announced that Peacock would roll out next April with more than 15,000 hours of content and take "center stage" at the end of July during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (NBCU has the US rights to the games).

Like other studio and media giants are doing with their respective direct-to-consumer streaming services, Peacock will lean heavily on shows and movies from its own stable, which includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination.

Peacock has already set a mix of genres and specific programming that will support the streaming service: Drama (including Dr. Death -- a show based on the true-crime podcast -- and another reboot of Battlestar Galactica; Comedy (including a new original called Rutherford Falls co-created by Mike Schur, Ed Helms and Sierra Teller Ornelas and starring Helms); Unscripted (including a new Saturday Night Live docuseries called Who Wrote That from SNL creator Lorne Michaels; Timeless Titles (a mix of NBC sitcoms and TV series such as The Office, 30 Rock and Will & Grace; a vault of new and older catalog film titles, including Jaws, Meet the Fockers and Shrek; and Spanish-language content from Telemundo.

NBCU hasn't announced pricing on Peacock, but reiterated that the plan is to support a blend of advertising and subscription models. NBCU has already made clear that it will go with a hybrid distribution model in which it will offer the service on a direct-to-consumer, standalone basis and to Comcast's and Sky's pay-TV subscribers.

Though distribution through pay-TV partners is part of the plan, Peacock's entry will add yet another player to an increasingly crowded field of premium, direct-to-consumer services. By the time Peacock gets off the ground, it will also be fighting for attention and consumer dollars with three new SVoDs -- Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+ -- as well as existing, popular general entertainment OTT services from Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Bonnie Hammer, chair of direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises, at NBCU, made it clear that Peacock won't pigeonhole itself into content niches.

"We're going to be very, very broad," she said. "We believe we'll have something for everyone."

There's also some wriggle room concerning whether Peacock will get first dibs on new originals or if they will debut first on NBCU-owned linear networks.

"It's going to be case by case. There's no one size fits all. We'll be sharing at times and we'll be completely owning in others," she said.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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