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Peacock’s paid subscribers stall at 13 million as losses widen in second quarter

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot Bel-Air

NBCU-owned streamer Peacock saw its paid subscriber numbers remain flat at around 13 million in the second quarter of this year.

Parent company Comcast attributed the lack of growth to the fact that Peacock added four million paid subs in the prior quarter, which included marquee events such as the Super Bowl and Beijing Winter Olympics.

The stalled subscriber growth comes as the losses associated with NBCU’s streaming investment continue to widen. The hybrid AVoD-SVoD platform accounted for US$467m in losses in the second quarter, compared with US$363m a year ago.

Execs also reiterated that losses associated with Peacock will be around US$2.5bn for the full year as it ramps up its content investment.

During an investor call, CEO Brian Roberts said the platform had around 27 million monthly active accounts, down from 28 million the prior quarter.

Recent commissions from Peacock include big-budget gladiatorial epic Those About to Die, helmed by German filmmaker Roland Emmerich. Its slate of originals includes The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot, Bel-Air, and a new iteration of Queer as Folk.

Elsewhere, NBCU reported that revenues from its studio climbed 33% to US$3bn in the second quarter, driven largely by the theatrical performance of Jurassic Park: Dominion.

Media revenue increased by 3.6% to US$5.3bn, driven by an increase in distribution revenue and offset slightly by a dip in advertising revenue. The uptick in distribution revenue was attributed to an increase in distribution revenue at Peacock and contractual rate increases, which was partially offset by a decline in the number of subscribers at its various networks.


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