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Peacock subs climb to 15 million in third quarter as streamer losses hit $614m

NBCUniversal (NBCU) streamer Peacock added more than two million paid US subscribers in the third quarter to surpass 15 million.

Jeff Shell

The subscriber gains come following a slow second quarter in which Peacock failed to add any subscribers.

While the subscriber increases were a positive, parent company Comcast said it took a US$614m loss related to Peacock, compared with US$520m a year ago.

The loss is unsurprising given that Comcast previously said it would double its investment in Peacock originals to more than US$3bn in 2022, from around US$1.5bn in 2021.

The earnings report comes a week after Netflix took aim at newer entrants to the streaming market, stating that its SVoD competitors had racked up “combined 2022 operating losses well over US$10bn.”

When factoring in bundles and free viewers, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell said Peacock now has 30 million active accounts.

Across the entire Comcast business, revenue hit US$29.8m, down by around 1.5% from a year ago.

There were bright spots in the studios division, with NBCU revenue climbing 31% to US$3.2bn, which it attributed to higher theatrical and content licensing revenue.

In Europe, Comcast-owned pay TV business Sky lost 255,000 subscribers in the second quarter, taking it up to 361,000 lost in the first six months of the year as economic strife hits the continent. Its revenue dropped 13.8% compared to the same period last year and stood at US$4.5bn in the second quarter.

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