NBCUniversal is considering removing its movies from HBO Max and Netflix and putting new movies on its own streaming service, Peacock. according to Bloomberg
Right now, HBO Max has a deal to show Universal Pictures movies about nine months after their theatrical performance, and Netflix has a similar deal to show movies from Illumination Entertainment, according to BloombergBoth deals are currently expiring at the end of the year, Bloomberg says.
NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast, has reportedly not yet made a decision on whether it should pull the movies. Execs are also “open” to signing new licensing deals with companies, which could mean that the movies stay where they are or end up somewhere other than Peacock, HBO Max or Netflix.
Disclosure: Comcast, owner of NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The edgeparent company.
The fact that NBCUniversal is even considering the move adds to an already extremely confusing streaming landscape, where it often sucks when you find a movie on the streaming service you’d expect.
On the one hand, NBCUniversal is releasing its own movies (including huge franchises such as Fast & Furious and How to train your dragon) to its streaming service would create some degree of business synergy and increase Peacock’s value in retaining or attracting new subscribers. On the other hand, licensing deals are lucrative, and the company has to weigh that revenue against what it could earn with Peacock in the long run.
NBCUniversal has shown some willingness to house popular content in Peacock. It moved The office, one of the most watched shows on all streaming services from Netflix to Peacock early this year. However, it is not clear how successful that strategy has been, and based on the current one Bloomberg report, we still don’t know if NBCUniversal is willing to take a similar move for some of its biggest movie franchises.