The geotargeted channel will be available in all 210 NBC affiliate markets on November 30. The channel will only be on Premium Plus, the top subscription tier, which costs $9.99 a month. In theory, Plus was created for subscribers who are looking to pay more in order to have no ads, but the local station feed will have advertising, just as the conventional linear TV version does.
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The move is a significant leap forward for local TV stations in the streaming era. Paramount+, since its earlier incarnation as CBS All Access, has similarly featured local CBS stations at the same top subscription tier as Peacock’s new offering. Execs at Paramount Global have long noted the significance of that viewing of live station programming, especially since sports and news are significant elements to the overall offering. Hulu also features a selection of local stations.
NBCUniversal has also foregrounded sports and news since launching Peacock in 2020. The service has reached 15 million paying subscribers, far behind many rivals, but NBCU and Comcast execs have said they are pleased with its progress, with monthly active user levels already at the threshold of initial projections of 30 million to 35 million by 2025.
On a broader level, the local station streaming move comes amid a rethink of resources across NBCU. CEO Jeff Shell has confirmed that the company is considering returning the 10 p.m. hour of primetime to local NBC stations, with the likely result being an additional hour of news in many markets. Affiliates had been unsettled since Peacock’s launch, especially with initial plans — since abandoned — calling for early access to The Tonight Show and Late Night. Local TV has struggled as a category to get on the right side of the streaming revolution, for a host of reasons, with some initial industry consortiums failing to yield solutions and the technical challenges mounting.
Even prior to the affiliate channel going live, Peacock has livestreamed NBC News and NBC Sports programming as well as WWE bouts. In the official announcement, execs characterized it as a continuation of that effort.
“With Peacock’s local affiliate livestream, our subscribers are getting the unique combination of the ad-free on-demand content they love with the local news and NBC programming that is already part of their daily life,” said Kelly Campbell, president, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer, NBCUniversal. “NBC affiliates have long been an integral part of local communities, and we look forward to being another point of connection and engagement for those communities across the country.”
NBC affiliate relations chief Philip Martzolf said affiliates “have always been terrific partners as our industry evolves to meet our consumers’ expectations and viewing habits.” He characterized the new channel as an opportunity to expand the audiences for broadcast and local TV.
“Our NBC affiliate stations are trusted destinations for our viewers to be entertained and informed,” said Eric Meyrowitz, EVP of Hearst Television and chair of the NBC affiliates board. “This partnership elevates our commitment to our audiences by giving them another place to receive our local and NBC broadcast programming alongside Peacock’s original and unique content.”
As early as today, Premium Plus subscribers will begin to see their NBC local affiliate channel livestream appear on Peacock as part of the soft launch, with all stations officially launching on November 30. Premium Plus customers will automatically see their geotargeted, local channel appear on platform in the channels page, which can be accessed through the main navigation, mirroring a broadcast experience all in one place, with the Peacock Premium offering remaining unchanged.
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