NBCUniversal is planning to give the ad-supported version of OTT TV service Peacock away for free to all, making it the first US media giant to offer a completely free streaming offering, according to a report by CNBC.
NBCUniversal owner Comcast had previously planned to offer the new streaming service free of charge to its own cable and broadband subscribers. However, according to CNBC, it is now mulling a plan that would see it make the ad-supported version of the service available to all, whether they are signed up to a Comcast service or not, with an ad-free version of the service also available for a monthly fee.
The rationale for the move would be to extend the reach of the service and maximise the advertising opportunity, according to CNBC.
Other new streaming services will be available free of charge to selected groups of customers. Disney+ will be free to Verizon wireless subscribers in the US for one year, while the new Apple TV+ service is available free of charge to people who purchase a new Apple device.
Peacock will have around 15,000 hours of content available, including Parks and Recreation, Cheers and The Office from 2021.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts had previously said that the company was looking for the “fastest way to get to profitability with the least amount of investment” with an ad-supported model being seen as the way forward.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in September, he said that Peacock will be offered for free to existing US Comcast customers.
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