The weeks leading up to the start of the 2020 Olympics were meant to be the pivotal time for the commercialization of NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which debuted last July. As with so many projects, the Tokyo Games postponement due to Covid-19 threw a major key in the nationwide rollout of the streaming platform.
Now, six months away from the rescheduled Olympics, NBCU TV and Streaming Chairman Mark Lazarus has said Peacock is ready for the 17 days of action. Already the recently acquired sitcom The Office is already giving the platform a big boost this year and is currently its “most viewed” title.
“While the Olympics were meant to be a calling card this summer, we’re excited that the Olympics are coming this year,” Lazarus told NATPE (National Association of Television Program Managers) to Virtual Miami on Tuesday. “It was so disappointing when we had to push him last year. But the excitement of having it now this year, and with Peacock being at cruising altitude, with the NBC broadcast network as the centerpiece, I think it’s going to be a really exciting time.
Go for gold
Lazarus has described rights to the Olympics as the “gold standard” of NBCU’s sports portfolio. The sports group’s holdings also include rights to the NFL, NHL, Premier League, NASCAR and the PGA Tour. “We’ve spent a lot of time and money securing sports rights, and more and more we’re securing those rights to have flexibility across multiple platforms,” he said. “We have the right to put [the Olympics] on any platform anytime, and that platform doesn’t even need to be invented yet. “
NBCU holds the national rights to broadcast the Olympics until 2032. Lazarus mentioned how important it is for the company to continue to monitor changes in consumer behavior in the intervening months. “This is the kind of discussion we have with sports leagues and I think it is important for all of us … to make sure that we are the place where the fans have to go to find their sport,” said he declared.
Compensate for lost advertising revenue
When the Olympics were first delayed in March 2020, they left NBCUniversal with a $ 1.25 billion hole in advertising revenue for this year. Ten months later, the NBC Sports Group hopes to beat last year’s already record advertising revenue.
The company said last week he had created an Olympics ad engine, which is designed to use spots and data from the past to create more effective advertising for the Summer Games. The NBCUniversal Insights and Measurement team reviewed 671 ads from the last two Olympics, tagging 897 ad elements and creating 540 templates. And while NBCU hasn’t given too many details on Olympic ad sales since last year’s postponement, Dan Lovinger, senior vice president of ad sales, NBC Sports Group, told reporters. last week that he expected an “early February” update.
While NBC will be the center of Olympic coverage for the company, Lazarus described cable and Peacock networks as a “add-on” for content, noting that the broadcast network cannot provide 24/7 coverage. “We will be using Peacock in an amazing way and giving people exclusive content on Peacock that they otherwise won’t have access to,” he said. “We think it’s an important part of what Peacock can and should be.”
The Office is already doing its job
Even outside of sport, Peacock is enjoying a great 2021. This is mainly thanks to Arrival of the Office on January 1 on the streaming service, after the sitcom left its longtime streaming home, Netflix. Lazarus said the sitcom is currently the most-watched title on Peacock, although only the first two seasons are available in its free offer.