Peacock Subscriptions Hit 33M, Comcast Announces

(Image credit: NBCUniversal)

PHILADELPHIA—Peacock is cementing itself in the streaming landscape, as Comcast has announced that as of the end of 2020 the NBCUniversal streaming service has 33 million signups in the U.S.

Comcast shared the results in its fourth quarter and end-of-year 2020 financial report. Despite the growth of Peacock, Comcast reported an overall loss for both the fourth quarter and year in its business segment that includes Peacock (as well as other corporate operations). NBCUniversal, including cable networks and broadcast TV, also reported losses.

Peacock, which offers both free, ad-supported and premium, ad-free subscriptions, launched in July 2020. No specific data was provided by Comcast as to how much Peacock is bringing in in terms of revenue, but it is becoming an increasingly important component of Comcast/NBCU’s plans, as evidenced by recent news that will bring exclusive streaming rights for the WWE Network to Peacock, as well as the plan to put more sports content on the service following the shuttering of NBCSN by the end of 2021.

Among new streaming services, Peacock falls in between subscriptions for Disney+ (86.8 million, per last report) and HBO Max (17.2 million)

As for NBCUniversal, its overall revenue—which on top of cable and broadcast includes theme parks and filmed entertainment—for the Q4 2020 dropped from $9.15 billion in 2019 to $7.5 billion. For the full year NBCU’s revenue dipped from $33.96 billion in 2019 to $28.08 billion in 2020. In terms of adjusted earnings, NBCU took a 20.7% year-over-year hit in Q4, dropping to $1.6 billion, and a 28.5% drop for the full year, falling to $6.2 billion.

Taking a closer look at NBCU’s cable networks, revenue decreased $2.7 billion (6.4% year-over-year) in the fourth quarter and $10.8 billion (5.8%) for the full year.

In broadcast television, revenue saw a drop of $2.8 billion (12%) in Q4. However, revenue for the full year, $10.2 billion, was actually consistent with 2019. Comcast says it was able to counter lower advertising revenue with higher content licensing revenue, which included transactions with Peacock, distribution and other revenue.

For the full Comcast Q4 and full-year 2020 financial report, visit the company’s website