NBC has long been known as the Must See TV network, a slogan first created back in 1993. Now 30 years later, the network is struggling with a lack of Must See TV for its streaming service Peacock, as subscribers are picking Hulu, Disney+, Paramount+ and more, over Peacock.
According to the most recent numbers, Peacock has just 20 million paid customers with 30 million total active users, including its free accounts. That compares to 55.9 million subscribers to Paramount+, 161.8 million Disney+ subscribers, and 39.4 million Hulu subscribers.
Many of Peacock’s competitors have huge name shows or brands pushing subscriptions. Paramount+ has Star Trek, Disney+ has Mickey mouse, Marvel, and more, and Hulu has great original content, but Peacock is still lacking must-watch shows that would drive subscriptions.
To help fix this NBC has been moving some shows from NBC to Peacock, including the long-running ‘Days of Our Lives’ show.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, some of Peacock’s best original programs are likely shows you have never heard of if you don’t subscribe to the service, including ‘We Are Lady Parts’, ‘The Amber Ruffin Show’ and more.
NBCUniversal’s announcement of Peacock included several big shows that have yet to be released, including a new Battlestar Galactica series. Sadly years later, and we still don’t have a Battlestar Galactica show, and no word on when it may come out.
So instead of original must watch TV, NBC is hoping sports can save its struggling Peacock service. Recently NBC has moved some sports to be Peacock only and struck a deal with the Big Ten to bring some of its games to Peacock. The question now is will sports fans stay around or just subscribe to see the one game?
NBC still owns about 1/3 of Hulu, but it expects Disney to exercise its option to buy NBC’s Hulu stake as early as 2024. Recently NBCUniversal pulled much of its content from Hulu in an effort to get subscribers to move to Peacock, but sadly that hasn’t happened, as Peacock only added 2 million subscribers in the 3rd quarter of 2022.
So this leaves NBCUniversal in a tough spot as its competitors grow rapidly and the market becomes more crowded. The lack of must watch TV is making Peacock the service cord cutters are skipping.
Comcast recently announced plans to stop offering Peacock’s free plans to select Comcast Xfinity customers. The hope is these customers will start paying, but many are skeptical of that plan.
For now, Peacock will likely continue to fall behind as their new Big Ten deal won’t start until the fall of 2023. Unless they can find some hit must watch TV shows that get people talking, there is little reason right now to switch over to Peacock.