U.S. Olympic Gymnastics, Basketball and Track & Field to Stream on NBC’s Peacock
By Movieguide® Staff
In the pandemic era, streamers established themselves as a primary source for all things entertainment.
However, this will be put to the test as the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics begins on July 23.
One of the most anticipated events for Americans is gymnastics, led by Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles. Unlike 2016, if fans want to watch the U.S. gymnastics team compete, they will have to look to NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, Peacock.
“NBC is betting that Biles and the rest of the U.S. gymnastics team, as well as the track and field teams and the men’s basketball team, can help Peacock rack up subscribers as athletes keep racking up medals, making live coverage of those events exclusive to the streaming service,” The Hollywood Reporter reported.
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NBC hopes that the Olympics will help boost their platform to compete with the industry’s leading streamers like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.
“The plan was [for the Olympics] to be part of our launch platform a year ago. That obviously didn’t work out,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal television and streaming, told THR. “We have a lot more knowledge about what is working and what is not working on Peacock. We were really flying blind a year ago; now we have a lot more data on our users, we know a lot more about them, and hopefully we can serve them better.”
THR reported that Peacock, while far behind the majority of competitors, is approaching the streaming race with a different model:
“With Peacock’s strategy of a free base tier and focus on advertising, the company is in many ways pursuing a different model than most of its competitors, which rely more heavily on subscription revenue, and don’t offer free tiers,” the THR writes.
“I think what we have seen with all of the streaming services so far is that you need some kind of a big event to drive people to sign up,” Naveen Sarma, senior director at S&P Global, added. “Those ‘must-see’ events do drive people to subscribe. What we saw in the last year or so with both HBO Max and Peacock is that they were missing these because of the pandemic.”
While the U.S. Gymnastics and Basketball teams are significant draws for Americans, many see Peacock’s real challenge as holding on to subscribers after the games have ended.
“It is a question for everybody: You need to constantly provide justification for people to use your service,” Sarma adds. “Peacock is going to have an opportunity to have a lot of new subscribers take a look at it. Can they keep them after the Olympics ends?”