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Comcast (CMCSA) Makes Peacock Free to Xfinity X1, Flex Users

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Comcast (CMCSA - Free Report) division NBCUniversal’s much-anticipated streaming service Peacock’s premium tier can now be enjoyed for free by Xfinity X1 and Flex customers.

Comcast will launch Peacock’s complete comprehensive range of services across the United States on Jul 15. Notably, Peacock’s premium tier, which is ad free, will cost $9.99 per month. Peacock’s offering also includes a free, ad-supported tier limited to a range of 7500 hours of content and a $4.99-premium, ad-supported tier with 15000 hours of content.

Peacock’s premium content slate includes shows from NBC and Telemundo, streaming channels NBC News Now and Sky News and new programming from Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Kelly Clarkson, Andy Cohen, Mike Tirico, Jac Collinsworth et al. The content also comprises hundreds of movies including the Jurassic Park franchise.

Through the free preview, the cable giant aims to reach more and more Xfinity X1 and Flex users who are compelled to stay home due to the coronavirus-led lockdown. Markedly, Comcast witnessed a 50% increase in on-demand consumption year over year while voice remote searches for free content jumped roughly 250%.


Peacock Set to Heighten Streaming Competition

Comcast’s hybrid business (both subscription and advertising) model is expected to be a key differentiator for Peacock in an overcrowded streaming industry saturated with pure subscription services from the likes of Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) , Disney (DIS - Free Report) , Amazon prime video and Apple (AAPL - Free Report) .

Notably, Netflix is well ahead in the streaming race despite intensified competition from the launch of services like Disney+ from Disney and Apple TV+ from Apple.

Courtesy of its diversified content portfolio, which is attributable to its heavy investments in the production and distribution of localized, foreign-language content and an expanding international footprint, Netflix is hugely benefiting from coronavirus-enforced physical distancing and shutdown norms.

Nevertheless, the free tier offering will help Comcast attract advertisers, once the impact of coronavirus dies down. The vast customer data that it gathers including data from Comcast's cable TV set-top boxes will aid advertisers to target users depending on their viewing interests.

Key brand sponsors like Target, Unilever, State Farm and Eli Lilly inked early advertising deals for Peacock, which are expected to generate millions of upfront advertising revenues for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company in the near term. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Moreover, Comcast, which has been losing video customers due to cord-cutting, expects Peacock’s solid content to aid its user base in the long haul.

Notably, Comcast will invest $2 billion largely in technology, marketing and programming for Peacock come 2020 and 2021, and has plans to break even by 2024, setting a target of 30-35 million active accounts by that time.

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