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Why Peacock doesn't need the Olympics

  • "Even if the Games end up being nixed, Peacock won’t suddenly be Quibi’d into extinction," says Josef Adalian. "Yes, the lack of a huge tentpole likely means it will take longer for Peacock to hit whatever its internal targets are for new sign-ups and user engagement. Ad revenue will come in well short of projections (as it would across all NBCU properties); raising awareness of the service will be even harder and will require diverting even more marketing dollars to Peacock than have already been spent. And, yes, I think the loss of the Games would be emotionally devastating to Peacock staffers who’ve been thinking of them as the event that would turbocharge the platform’s launch. All that said, I would argue that last year’s Olympics no-go underscores how Peacock is not reliant on any one piece of content. When the 2020 Games were pushed, the streamer was able to pivot relatively effectively, getting decent buzz for Saved by the Bell and talk shows from Amber Ruffin and Larry Wilmore; the September debut of Trolls World Tour just a few months after its theatrical and pay-per-view windows; and the holiday-adjacent run of the Harry Potter movies. And people who want to watch The Office via streaming don’t need ads during the Olympics to tell them Peacock is the show’s new home. (How many folks are going to keep paying $5 to $10 per month mostly for a 16-year-old sitcom remains an open question.) What’s more, as former NBC and Fox scheduling guru Preston Beckman has noted many times over the years, the Olympics audience is very much a borrowed audience that rarely (if ever) has managed to turn something else into a hit."

    TOPICS: Peacock, Summer Olympics