This is the age of the streaming video service. New services seem to emerge every month, and the content licensing wars are reaching deafening levels. And now, Comcast is mulling whether to pull its movie library from HBO Max and Netflix and use it to bolster its own streaming service, Peacock.
Currently, Comcast is being paid a handsome sum by the two streaming platform giants for the rights to it’s stellar catalog—which includes the popular Fast & Furious and Jurassic Park franchises, as well as animated movies like Despicable Me. HBO Max has the rights to new Universal Pictures movies nine months after leaving theaters, and Netflix has a similar deal for films from animation studio Illumination Entertainment. The dilemma: These deals expire at the end of the year, and Comcast is debating whether to renew the deals or move its content to its own service.
Moving the content to a proprietary streaming service isn’t unheard of. Disney pulled its library from Netflix and moved it to Disney+, which is now thriving. Plus, with movie theaters still shuttered due to the pandemic, streaming video services are where all of the competition is currently at.
The big question now is whether moving the content to Peacock (and making it the new platform for watching fresh-from-the-theater movies) will give it a better foothold in the streaming wars against the likes of Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, or if it’ll be more lucrative for Comcast to keep things exactly how they already are.
Peacock is already the home of beloved titles like The Office, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Downton Abbey, and Friday Night Lights, along with a mix of sports and original content. With the Universal Studios movie catalog alongside those popular titles, the service will surely see even more success. Either way, it will still have to compete with Disney+’s blockbuster slate of upcoming series and movies from properties like Marvel and Star Wars, and with Netflix’s full slate of new upcoming movies and original shows.