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New Universal movies for streaming exclusively at Peacock

by Stewart Cole

A peacock is pictured outside NBC headquarters at the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, New York, NY, USA, January 16, 2020. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri

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December 9 (Reuters) – Films recently released by Universal Studios will be released exclusively at Peacock just 45 days after their first theatrical release and will be available to users for rent or purchase, the company announced on Thursday.

The new release strategy begins with Universal’s 2022 films. It will bring movies to NBCUniversal’s emerging Peacock streaming service faster, squeezing the traditional eight- to nine-month wait between a movie’s theatrical debut and its availability on streaming services.

“It’s Peacock flexing his forehead,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives. “Showing that they could become very formidable competitors on other platforms, given aggressive content moves like this.”

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NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast (CMCSA.O), is teaming up with other major multimedia companies to leverage the appeal of recent movies to enhance their streaming services.

Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N) brought “Free Guy” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” to Disney + just 45 days after their theatrical debut. AT&T Warner Bros. (TN) announced a similar 45-day window for the 2022 movie, after making this year’s movies available simultaneously in cinemas and on WarnerMedia’s HBOMax streaming service on the same day, in a release strategy called “day-and – date. “

“You have to wonder, since customers are used to days and appointments from players like HBOMax, if 45 days will be enough to move the needle,” said Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson. “Honestly, (Peacock) is fighting … They haven’t started a single live show that has put them on the map yet.”

Peacock said it had 54 million subscriptions to its service since July, with 20 million active accounts – with a few million more active accounts added in recent months. The service is roughly comparable in size to ViacomCBS’s Paramount +, though dramatically smaller than Netflix and Disney +, with 214 and 116 million subscribers respectively.

Universal’s 2022 film “The 355”, a spy thriller starring Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong’o, “Ticket to Paradise”, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts and “Marry Me”, with Jennifer Lopez. Owen Wilson.

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Report by Dawn Chmielewski? Edited by Aurora Ellis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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