NBCU’s Peacock will include ViacomCBS content when it launches

Peacock will include some Paramount films including "The Godfather" trilogy. (Paramount)

Peacock, the upcoming streaming service from NBCUniversal, has reached a deal with ViacomCBS to carry CBS and Showtime series along with Paramount films when it launches.

“Ray Donovan,” “The Affair,” “Undercover Boss,” “The Game,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Real Husbands of Hollywood” will be available to stream on Peacock when the service goes nationwide on July 15. They will also continue to be available on ViacomCBS platforms. Films from Paramount’s library will stream on Peacock in limited exclusivity windows throughout 2021, 2022, and 2023 including: “The Godfather” trilogy, “Catch Me If You Can,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “American Beauty,” “Patriot Games,” “Last Holiday,” “Fatal Attraction,” “The Firm,” “An Officer and a Gentleman” and others.

“We are truly excited to bring some of the most popular movies and series from across the ViacomCBS family of brands to Peacock,” said Frances Manfredi, president of content acquisition and strategy at Peacock, in a statement. “We continue to expand the Peacock catalog with premium programming from NBCUniversal and beyond; partnering with companies like ViacomCBS to ensure that all of our viewers can choose from the best entertainment options available in the market today.”

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The licensing deal comes at an interesting moment for ViacomCBS, which is planning to release an updated and expanded version of CBS All Access that will include more Viacom and Paramount content. CEO Bob Bakish said the service will relaunch next year with an extra 15,000 hours of content.

Questions remain about how ViacomCBS will balance its streaming ambitions with more lucrative licensing opportunities. Media peers like Disney have shown a willingness to sacrifice near-term licensing revenues in exchange for long-term direct-to-consumer growth. As Lightshed analyst Rich Greenfield pointed out, Bakish came to the leadership role at Viacom with a pledge to “heal relations with distributors that prior CEO Phil Dauman had destroyed, largely by making sure content that was part of the bundle distributors were paying for stayed in the bundle vs. being licensed to third-parties such as Amazon and Netflix.”

However, ViacomCBS said that its deal with Peacock is “consistent with our strategy to maximize the value of our content by selectively licensing our library product to third parties while prioritizing franchise IP for our own platforms.”

Peacock will launch across mobile, web and connected TV platforms with a free tier featuring more than 7,500 hours of content. Peacock Premium will also be available for $4.99 per month and features more than 15,000 hours of content. Viewers may also upgrade Peacock Premium to ad-free for an additional $5/month.

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