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Peacock adds 2 million paid subscribers following months-long drought

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NBC CEO Jeff Shell says Peacock now has 30 million active accounts, with over 15 million paid subscribers

Peacock now has a total of 15 million paid subscribers, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said during an interview with CNBC (via Variety). This means the service added 2 million paid subscribers in the third quarter of 2022 alone, as Peacock’s paid subscriber count stayed flat at 13 million during the first half of the year.

Shell says the growth was “driven by content,” citing the end of NBC’s content-sharing deal with Hulu in September, which brought next-day streaming of shows like Saturday Night Live, Law & Order, and One Chicago exclusively to Peacock. Shell also highlights the prevalence of sports on the platform, stating the platform “has the best sports offering of any streaming service” with programs like Sunday Night Football, Premier League, WWE, and the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

According to Shell, “As of this quarter, we have 30 million active accounts that are watching us monthly. Of those 30 million, we’re actually up over 15 million now paid… it’s 70 percent more than we started the year with.” Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company, will release its third quarter earnings results on October 27th, so we’ll have to wait a little longer to see solid numbers.

Over the past few months, Peacock also brought blockbusters like Jurassic World Dominion and Minions: The Rise of Gru to the platform, with Jamie Lee Curtis’ Halloween Ends set to premiere the same day on October 14th. Shell says Peacock secured rights to Jordan Peele’s Nope as well, although it’s unclear when it will premiere on the service. Other big names coming to the platform include The Continental, an upcoming John Wick spinoff series, and a Community movie along with nonexclusive rights to the series.

CNBC closed out the interview by asking Shell whether NBCUniversal would want to go from owning 33 percent of Hulu to buying the whole thing. “We, like a lot of other people, would want to own Hulu,” Shell explains. “It’s not what we anticipate happening, but it’s a pretty valuable asset.” While Disney’s set to buy out Comcast’s stake in Hulu in 2024, there’s some disagreement over Hulu’s worth. Comcast’s setting the bar high at $70 billion, while the original deal had Hulu’s value at about $27.5 billion.

Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

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