Comcast’s (CMCSA) NBCUniversal is today officially launching its much awaited streaming service Peacock offering more than 20,000 hours of content from networks and studios including popular shows such as “Saturday Night Live” and “The Office”.
The new streaming service, which will be supported by both ads and subscriptions, is hoped to drive gains as Comcast’s cable TV business is suffering from declines. Peacock’s content lineup is packed with fan favorites like “Parks and Recreation”, NBC series, sports, news and Peacock originals including “Brave New World” and “The Capture”. Peacock will also offer a free ad-supported option which will include 13,000 hours of content.
“This is a historic moment for our company as we introduce Peacock to consumers nationwide – a groundbreaking vision that was brought to life by an incredible team of people from across Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky,” said Matt Strauss, Chairman of Peacock. “From current, classic and original movies and shows, to live news, sports, curated channels and trending content from around the world, Peacock is the only free, premium ad-supported streaming service that brings together everything consumers love about television and streaming – all in one place.”
In addition Peacock, also announced a distribution agreement with Sony Interactive Entertainment, which will make the streamlining service available on PlayStation 4 systems starting the week of July 20.
Comast’s Peacock is entering a highly competitive streaming environment as the COVID-19 impact with shelter-in-place measures provided a boost to viewing figures. The streaming space has been heating up recently with a number of big names vying to take a chunk out of market leader Netflix’s (NFLX) dominance. HBO Max and Walt Disney’s (DIS) Disney+ are also among the competing streaming services Peacock is facing.
In a report this week, Goldman Sachs analyst Brett Feldman estimated that US pay-TV subscribers will be down 10% year-on-year by 4Q20, compared with a 4% drop in 4Q19 and 1% decline in 4Q18.
“These pressures reflect more streaming options, higher prices for facility and virtual MVPDs’ services and economic weakness,” Feldman wrote in a note to investors. “With the major media companies generating 30-90% of their revenue from linear video advertising and affiliate fees, we believe investors’ outlook for their ability to replace these revenues via direct-to-consumer (DTC) services will be a key a stock driver.”
Comcast shares rose 1.6% to $41.18 on Tuesday trimming their year-to-date drop to 8.5%.
Wall Street analysts have a cautiously optimistic outlook on Comcast’s stock. The Moderate Buy consensus shows 11 Buy ratings versus 6 Hold ratings. The $46.21 average price target implies 12% upside potential in the shares over the coming year. (See Comcast stock analysis on TipRanks)
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