Comcast-owned streamer Peacock had its best quarterly result since its inception, adding five million paying subscribers in its fourth quarter of 2022 to bring the total to 20 million, up from the over 15 million subs in the previous quarter. In Q1 2021, Peacock had 9 million paid users.
Peacock can thank much of this success to its Sports line-up. The boost in paid subscribers was primarily due to the FIFA World Cup, which streamed in Spanish on Peacock Premium and Telemundo. The streamer also now has exclusive next-day rights to NBC and Bravo shows.
“Looking ahead and based on our experience to date, we expect our subscriber cadence will follow our content launches, which will fall more heavily in the second half of ’23, and we continue to see positive trends in engagement churn and ARPU,”Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO
In 2023, Peacock Premium subscribers will get to watch the French Open tournament. The company is also in talks with partners to make NBC Regional Sports Networks available on the platform next year.
Last month, NBC Universal partnered with JetBlue to become the airline’s official streaming partner, giving customers access to Peacock shows and movies.
Peacock almost tripled in revenue to $2.1 billion, however losses widened again compared with the previous year. The company noted an adjusted EBITDA loss of $978 million, compared with a loss of $559 million in 2021. Comcast also reported $541 million in severance costs, including $182 million related to NBCUniversal.
Peackock’s numbers may be impressive, but they are far behind when compared to its streaming competitors, like Netflix with over 230 million subscribers, and Disney+ with 164.2 million subs. Paramount+ grew to 46 million users in its third quarter.
Comcast reassured investors during the Earning call that its streaming strategy is moving according to plan. “We like what we’re doing. We had a phenomenal year getting to 20 million paid subs from less than a year ago, and we see this coming year as the peak year,” said CFO Mike Cavanagh.
“We made a decision to invest in Peacock. It’s very clear that we picked the right business model at this point given where we are,” we’ve been clear from the start that we’re going to see a return on that investment.”Jeff Shell, CEO NBCU