Streaming Wars For Live Sports, Entertainment, and Gambling

NBC Universal and Peacock:
How To Piss Off Millions of Existing Fans and Customers, Part 1 of 2

aka What Not To Do CFL

Note the lessons and implications here for ANY sport or league that is going to try to tie itself EXCLUSIVELY to a streaming platform.

For the sports leagues that want to be big leagues, just say no already to that strategy. Why ignore where the money with the big leagues is flowing let alone their methods?

The first shot was fired by NBC Universal (NBCU) in September 2020, in the midst of a pandemic at that, when for no reason than some exercise in sheer Manhattan corporate greed, NBC decided that it might be good idea to put all Premier League games on Peacock that weekend. This was as it was known to likely only NBC executives that NBCSN was going to be jettisoned given that NBC was going to lose the NHL contract and with good reason and riddance given what the NBC had done to ruin their coverage of the NHL.

For Premier League, please note this moment in peak season for live sports in mid-September was just over 6 years after tens of millions to establish a cherished Saturday morning band and loyal audience.

The backlash by fans, who were already paying for cable subscriptions, was fierce and many like me have not ceased to remind NBC of such greedy antics. Some of us also reminded them of the same when we canceled Comcast service. Some of us also remind them on their Facebook pages and social media with ample concurrence.

Only recently has NBCU relented and put at least one PL game in each time slot on broadcast and/or cable TV given that the World Cup games are going to be on Telemundo, so they did figure out not to lose their audience in the run-up but to groom that audience that of course they once did not need to lose let alone their heartless decision in the midst of a pandemic in September 2020.

So how bad is it at Peacock now after the end of the third quarter after subscribers remained flat in 2Q2022 as all other major streaming services are increasing subscribers?

You do reap what you sow no matter how mighty you might be in life. There will be no remorse until this nonsense of putting prime content on only streaming by NBCU, instead of perhaps a simulcast as does CBS via Paramount+, ceases.

Note that CNBC is a unit of NBC Universal, so they are having the scripted report of the numbers for them via their own perennial hack David Faber with their NBC spin as well. They are shameless!

And they did succeed to juice the numbers by also introducing a $1.99 per month discount rate for the service, so give them credit for that in the current streaming price war now that everything is open and there are not so many real or fake captives at home so much.

Peacock parent Comcast typically uses its quarterly earnings reports to issue performance updates on the NBCUniversal-run subscription platform, whether the numbers are good (like last winter’s big 4 million subscribers spike) or awful (July’s big fat zero). That’s why it was a bit of a Peacocktober surprise when NBCU CEO Jeff Shell decided to go on one of his own cable channels Tuesday to let the world know Peacock’s paid subscriber base was once again growing, telling CNBC’s David Faber the streamer now boasted “over 15 million” paid users, 2 million more than the 13 million it claimed at the end of June. “Up” is undoubtedly good, but the bigger question facing Peacock is whether these latest gains are good enough. I don’t think they are.

For one thing, the streamer got those 2 million subscribers only after implementing what felt like an everything-but-the-kitchen sink strategy to boost its numbers following the disastrous second-quarter stall. Consider all the actions Shell’s underlings at NBCU and Peacock took over the last few months to goose the numbers, as well as some of the other factors that helped drive sign-ups.


The problem is, despite arguably doing so much right over the summer to turbocharge subscribers, Peacock still only added 2 million more paid users. That’s half as many as it gained during the first three months of 2022, when the combination of the Olympics and the Super Bowl temporarily inflated Peacock’s subscriber base by 4 million subscribers. In other words, while Peacock once again proved it’s able to boost its paid numbers by pulling out a bunch of stops — as it did last winter — these stunts are yielding diminished returns.

Paolo's Prophecy For Early February 2023:
And then the people ...canceled again - right?

Too bad we won't know much beyond the usual excuses until perhaps May after the 1Q2023 numbers are out and well after the NFL has been over.

But what stops will NBC Universal try to pull out this time?

Most of the viewing interest on NBCU, with plenty of other options elsewhere for non-sports fans, in November through January is in the FIFA World Cup and the NFL Sunday Night Football along with a few playoff games, all of which are on live broadcast TV not Peacock. You also don't need Peacock to see highlights elsewhere.

As noted previously, there is a longer game strategy ahead at NBCU for 1Q2024 for either an acquisition of Hulu or a rebrand. They are just stalling now perhaps via these aggressive antics. Or they could have simply treated their core PL audience well before right?

Then there's this take by a non-employee of any unit of NBCU unlike David Faber of CNBC. Unlike for mortgage notes they hold that are not in default, bankers valuing the assets of others will seldom inflate those values. Ouch.

> What’s more, streaming industry analyst Rich Greenfield of LightShed argues it’s almost “irrelevant” at this point whether Peacock added two million or four million new subscribers last quarter because the streamer actually has a bigger headache: Audience engagement — or lack thereof. “What matters is daily time spent watching per Peacock subscriber,” he says. “From what I’ve seen, it’s very little. It makes it hard to drive ad dollars and/or raise the price if you don’t have engagement. The problem is, nobody just turns on Peacock to watch it.” Indeed, in his interview with Shell, CNBC’s Faber quoted from a Bank of America investor note which warned that because of the “small amount of net [subscriber] ads and lack of buzz around hit shows we worry that Peacock may struggle to hit engagement figures of 10 hours a month.” Shell acknowledged the importance of engagement — and then responded by changing the subject to revenue.


NBC Universal and Peacock:
How To Piss Off Millions of Existing Fans and Customers, Part 2 of 2

aka What Not To Do CFL

You could perhaps script the following quip in the tone the timeless words of Hyman Roth of "The Godfather" fame:

"Back in September 2020, you see, the order, it was called, uh, Operation Peacock, was given. Here at NBC. We didn't ASK who gave the order. We did the order. It was none of our business who gave the order! This is the business we've chosen!"

Now this macho approach does not work very well in any given business or human relations including quite likely even in a drug cartel as well when results are not achieved.

But what did NBCU do after the Premier League debacle and all they could have learned from the failures of others in the last two years!?

Once again they didn't ask who gave the order, they just did the order, and then they went on to piss off a vast dominantly female audience on top of the dominantly male audience they had already enraged that fateful weekend in September 2020!

A few not so good men in charge at NBC I figure perhaps were left to sleep on their sofa, in their garage, or in a shed in the backyard (not the she-shed) assuming they were not fleeing their wives and all her female relatives after this decision that no way do I believe even consulted female executives or leadership at NBC!

Alas like many, I do not give a rip about soap operas.

But I take great joy in seeing such colossal failure in the works at NBCU given the core antics via Manhattan greed are the same!

CFL, again, do not deal with these louts at NBC or they will wreck your brand too because you and nobody else is the NFL to them.

And even the NFL has told NBC, mind you, that the NFL absolutely will not be on Peacock or of course we would find it there.

Perhaps moving Days of Our Lives to streaming was not the best idea for NBC. The network, which officially moved the long-running soap opera to Peacock earlier this month, is reported to have lost nearly 750,000 viewers since replacing it with NBC News Daily.

According to ShowBiz 411, the soap opera was averaging 1.6 million viewers per day on NBC. Meanwhile, the news hour that replaced Days only brought in 935,000 viewers last week, resulting in a loss of around 750,000 viewers for the network.

Viewers of the show were furious when the final airing of Days on NBC before its jump to streaming was cut short by King Charles III’s speech following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. And despite the stars feeling “very optimistic” about the future of the show, which has been on for 57 years, many fans are not echoing the same sentiment.


Latency: The Live Sports Hurdle for Streaming and Poison to Big Advertisers

First let's go over a bit of history that is still in the making.

In 2019, the UFC decided to do a deal with ESPN and migrate its live events and more of its content over to ESPN+. Though the UFC was taking streaming of live sports to the next level, it was a TERRIBLE idea that alienated many fans.

Not only did the UFC later try to force a whole generation of fans to subscribe to ESPN+ so only THEN could they sign up for PPV for live events, with two paywalls being a woeful business model in any business but perhaps the most exclusive of "gentlemen's clubs" wherever those still thrive, but the plan flopped spectacularly once the stream was disrupted or lost.

Subscribers and fans were irate and rightfully so. Dana White, in all his overzealous wisdom, blamed the internet. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

White was not wrong in technical terms, but he failed to see the forest through the trees.

Of course as an executive and founder of a massively successful enterprise and global brand, you would think Dana White and owners WME-IMG would have done more due diligence on the mass use of streaming technology for live sports instead of perhaps merely checking it out near some data centre (where of course it will work great!)?

During the pandemic, the cable and telco industry screwed up many things including most of all their unprecedented opportunity to capture a more captive audience by instead further alienating their customers including with the obsession with the prolonged use of screens within screens, but they did invest substantially in the internet infrastructure.

And this background all brings us to a modern problem with streaming of live sports that is not new and old technical issue known as latency.

Now of course the streaming feed lags the live feed often due to a number of factors including via a simulcast; however, this is not a major challenge for most.

Here we are talking about when you are watching a live event, and the action stalls much as if you are waiting for whatever on your desktop Windows PC.

The viewing public has no patience for this folly however still common, and the wealthiest advertisers abhor any disruption to a television broadcast.

Via most especially Peacock as seen also on many a replay of Premier League games and highlights, and also as I noticed today in watching Champions League on Paramount+, the latency problem showed up more than once during live action.

Latency my friends is why in my opinion, though streaming will continue to be a growth driver for engagement of content by a younger demographic, the primary and lead option for live sports will continue to be TV as we have known it on "regular TV" for some years to come.

The Big 10 Conference in the NCAA knew this reality this past summer also when it turned down a HIGHER bid by Amazon in favour of the still record bid by CBS, Fox, and NBC to say good-bye to the cable stranglehold of ESPN forever and good riddance of course.

And behind the curtain the NFL knows this too when they tell Fox and NBC to put more USFL games on broadcast TV instead of Peacock where that crap action with few fans in the stands in Alabama truly belongs.

You won't see NFL games ever exclusively on Peacock either and only via simulcast.

And so it's up to the CFL via Genius Sports to secure a BROADCAST deal with simulcast on streaming versus the ailing status quo via TSN and ESPN+.


Example of More Ownership by Big Media and Entertainment of Gambling Operations Beyond Only Sports Betting

This example and general approach is also how all leagues and media are targeting more the younger fan, who is primarily more interested in interactive engagement with any content unlike his parents or grandparents depending on the age group.

As reported separately as in the Chicago thread, Genius seems to be working these angles amongst their gaming and media partners in the US for sake their interests in the CFL no doubt.

Note that Fox has its own interests in gaming in the US already including via Fox Bet, though note here Fox's vested interest in another major betting app that is also an NFL sponsor and that now goes beyond mere sports betting.

Given the high stakes such litigation is hardly unusual, and the important point here is yet another example of how much more gambling, not merely sports betting, is and will become part of the entire production of live sports and not merely a separate app owned by a separate company.

The New York-based Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services also settled a dispute over the price to exercise that option. Fox has a 10-year option to acquire an 18.6% stake of FanDuel for $3.7 billion. The price would rise to over $4 billion when factoring in a 5% escalator, according to Flutter.

I've been of the opinion for years since 2015 when FanDuel and DraftKings took advantage of a loophole in US law to offer a fantasy sports platform, under the laughable guise that the unregulated app was not for gambling as many states like Nevada quickly called out, simply to bide their time with the goal to become operations for sports betting in the US anyway as is exactly what happened.

Then these apps such as FanDuel as acquired by Flutter Entertainment an Irish firm, much like their foreign counterparts had done already such as in the UK, figured out that on the same app they could just be their own virtual casinos too, and for reasons not all fully explained, the pandemic was a boon to the gambling industry much as for alcohol, marijuana, other drugs, et cetera much as historically any given period of economic challenge and malaise.

Now the bigger media players want in all the more to take on the existing players in gambling already for their share of record action.

I figure there are a few others here on this forum who know more about the developments in the industry in these regards, which I have expressed merely along general lines here.


For anybody who believes the CFL should move their games aired in America to FanDuel TV aka The Horse Racing Channel, you should see how they treat NBL games from Australia. Live horse racing is and will always be a priority; even at 1am Eastern or later when the NBL plays. FanDuel TV has to finish all the races before switching to the game. So what if the game is joined in progress just before halftime. And then when there is some other races around the world starting any time during the time-span of the game, they will either switch to the race completely or show a split screen.

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More Reasons To Forget About Disney et al via the CFL

The Bottom Line Beyond The Bottom Line: Having Great Content Is Not Enough

Disney’s direct-to-consumer division, which also includes Hulu and ESPN+, on Tuesday reported an operating loss of nearly $1.5 billion, more than doubling its loss of $630 million during the same quarter a year earlier.

Armed with shows and movies from the “Star Wars” and Marvel franchises, Disney+ added 12.1 million subscribers during the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, bringing its total to 164.2 million, including cheap subscriptions from India. Including Hulu and ESPN+, Disney’s streaming operation has surpassed 235 million subscribers.

This report by Disney should also put to rest any given fallacious argument, as made on a recurring basis by some on far more than this venture, that just because a major player is also well capitalized with ample resources, they will make any given idea work in due time.

The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent, and in this case there are plenty of rationales for this mounting money-losing situation in streaming for Disney that are no longer or have not been in the realm of the unknown.

Disney however is so big that you wonder if they really are driven to make their streaming model succeed or if they have privately agreed to continue to use Disney+ as some sort of loss-leader. Of course like any business they want every unit and offering to be profitable as they must tell the public given they are publicly-traded, but what is the underlying reality given Disney's vastly bigger picture in comparison to the $1.5B lost in merely streaming?

Full-year revenue surged 23% to $82.7 billion, as Disney recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, the company said. Net income was $3.19 billion, up 58% from the year before. The parks segment was particularly strong; revenue rose 73% to $28.7 billion, and operating income was $7.91 billion, up from $471 million last year.

As noted previously as well, it's not in the CFL's interest to continue to be cast as some sort of loss-leader as has done ESPN in the US as those arrogant folks do for all other content of niche interest in the US because they see themselves as "The Worldwide Leader" and all that.

All can take a step back and reflect here with more evidence at hand that the streaming model, with regards to functionality and an ongoing concern as part of a business, has a ways to go and there is more room for better ideas not that the larger players, such as especially Disney and NBC Universal who have heavy, antiquated cable and satellite television interests, are going to entertain the better new ideas that compromise their legacy offerings.


My belief is they can disperse content better with non exclusivity at the current rate ...

if espn wants it sure have some but not with an exclusivity deal

the CFL needs innovators who are willing to disperse the content and gain audience share that should be done by selling the rights to various streaming services

now if they pay big bucks sure they can have exclusive CFL deals

but for the CFL if they are not getting an adequate return

the best thing is to allow the market to work for them by getting more platforms involved and competing to gain traction with the content whether it's Youtube , espn , paramount , apple , amazon whoever wishes to simulcast ... whether a game of the week or the complete package .


A Case Study For the CFL:
Serie A's (Italian top league soccer) past experience with ESPN before moving to CBS's Paramount+

Much like the CFL, ESPN had the rights to Serie A for a few years and kept the property tucked away in its "worldwide" portfolio with poor promotion.

Serie A moved on to Paramount+ to have more exposure and success even though a niche sports offering and a distant third or fourth in the US in soccer behind interest in Premier League and Liga MX and seasonally MLS. Interest ramps up in the spring for the league.

Occasionally a game even makes CBS via the Champions League especially in the spring. CBS Sports Network, a cable property, has always been small and is not used exclusively for Serie A games as opposed to simulcasting the game to Paramount+ when used.

Paramount+ is becoming more and more akin to Netflix through original series though it's early in its history.

This approach by CBS is in contrast to the likes of Peacock and ESPN+, which are not at the forefront of original series and content and used primarily to try to upsell audiences when each of them put utter crap on their cable channels like USA and the ESPN channels much as they have done for years.

ESPN of course has gone out of its way to be a political network for a decade now, and of course most sports fans don't tune in to hear any given political slant when they have plenty of other options if they are into politics.

The political engagement are yet another reason not to be tied to the ESPN brand, for their strategy is to define your brand in their interests not to help you promote your brand as they grow their business around your brand.

The NFL got wind on that front two decades ago and has successfully made sure to keep ESPN in their bottom place in the pecking order for their media partners.


When The Company You Left Criticizes Your New Choice Publicly, You Know You Have Won Something

This is hardly my first rodeo in this regard and no doubt others have had similar experiences whether it involves an employer, supervisor, product, service, job, girlfriend, supplier, even wife, et cetera.

In the US if Comcast is not your cable internet provider where you live, substitute this situation for Verizon or another cable provider.

Sometimes vindication of the better or right choice comes in the form of criticism after the fact. "I told you so" and insert your choice term or expletive as you please.

A few weeks ago Comcast XFinity began to run ads during also live sports so as to target T-Mobile internet customers. A year ago, hardly anybody heard about T-Mobile internet (with free Android TV!) but for a few like me who began to investigate via YouTube ads and so forth.

The NBC Universal giant of course has been fat, lethargic, and asleep at the wheel for years as are most overstayed and arrogant large companies. Here we are only a year later.

Of course for those like me who were sounding off aplenty to Comcast years ago with ideas that would have been even inexpensive so as to make improvements, it's about a year too late to mend your ways after not listening to customers for far longer.

Running ads with big names for certain demographics like Becky G and Ed Helms to try to humour the situation is not going to do it or impress many who were former customers. Show us MORE money for our trouble to walk away and THEN we'll talk.

Well go figure, who would have thought it, now a cable internet company ran deceptive and misleading ads and was called out.

This group is a self-policing group established by an oversight group in the US, which is a good thing so as to avoid the need for government intervention after which too often there are unintended and adverse consequences for the innocent via new regulations for everybody all because one or two bad actors screwed up wantonly and negligently.

The war has escalated and will continue to do so as the stakes grow, for that's the biggest reason Comcast and other cable are running such ads after getting their clocks cleaned with subscribers leaving and also not signing up for crap like Peacock or even so at only promotional rates or for free before dumping that awful app.

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Streaming Service Performance 3Q2022: A Comparison

Here's how these three American media firms did via their core streaming services in the third quarter of 2022. I break the figures down by the aggregate for the entire streaming division of the media firm and then further by the dominant platform for live sports.

Disclaimer: Please note in any given reporting period that subscriber growth does not necessarily correlate, if not also has a negative correlation in a cycle of high-growth and major investments, with revenue and profitability.

All the services are heavily using promotions now, including free for a year or free when bundled with another firms offerings, to increase the subscription numbers.

Paramount Global, which includes Paramount+

Paramount Global reached nearly 67 million streaming subscribers worldwide as of the end of September, up from 63.7 million as of the end of June. But streaming investments and cord-cutting dragged on the bottom line, with several financial results falling below analysts’ expectations.

The Paramount+ streaming platform added 4.6 million global subscribers in the July-September period to hit 46 million, compared with 43.3 million as of the end of June. But the streamer’s user base now does not include 1.9 million subscribers in the Nordics anymore who were migrated to SkyShowtime.

Paramount+ 46M +2.7M Subscribers or +6.24% Quarterly

Disney+, Which Includes ESPN+

Across Disney’s streaming services, Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ had a combined total of 235.7 million subscribers, up from 221 million in the third quarter. The company beat expectations of 233.8 million.

ESPN+ reported 24.3 million subscribers, a slight increase from 22.8 million. Hulu only gained 1 million subscribers, bringing the new total from 46.2 million to 47.2 million.

ESPN+ 24.3M +1.5M Subscribers or +6.58% Quarterly

NBCU Media, which includes Peacock

Peacock had ended the first quarter with more than 13 million paid subs and 28 million monthly active accounts in the U.S. Paid subs “stayed relatively flat at 13 million” as of the end of the second quarter. And NBCU CEO Jeff Shell told CNBC in early October, just after the end of the third quarter, that paid Peacock subscribers had since then risen to 15 million. The company confirmed that on Thursday, mentioning that Peacock paid subscribers in the U.S. “surpassed 15 million” as of the end of September.

Please note that "active accounts" is in my opinion a meaningless statistic in particular when Peacock is bundled in with internet service by Comcast. The consumer often does not have to act to sign up for anything to view the content for free unlike with the other services as noted above.

Peacock ~15.05M Estimated +2.0M Paid Subscribers or Estimated +15.33% Quarterly

NBCU’s media unit results included $506 million of revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $614 million related to Peacock. That compared to $230 million of revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $520 million related to the streamer in the prior-year period.


Media and Gambling Rights Case Study: The New York Mets

Think Even Bigger CFL and Others

The bottom line is there is not a shortage of capital globally that is chasing such unprecedented expansion for those sports teams and leagues, which have the better plans in place for the new and increased streams of revenue beyond that mere TV screen and the gate.

The traditional revenue streams of course remain with their respective growth strategies all the same.

Here via the New York Mets we have a model for what is to come for many more sports teams expanding their reach beyond mere TV much as have done the New York Yankees.

The Mets already have local media rights out to SportsNet New York aka SNY via TV or via the app via as well as a an over-the-air local station PIX 11 for 25 games per season.

Some games for those outside of NYC Metro can watch also via and via several streaming services.

But now fans of the Mets as well as New Yorkers might have things turn much sweeter in these times of media and gambling expansion:

New York Mets billionaire owner Steve Cohen hopes to hit the jackpot by becoming one of New York City’s only casino license holders.

Cohen has been vocal about his desire to open a casino in New York City’s Queens borough. The casino would be in the Willets Point area, which is also home to the Mets’ Citi Field.

Earlier this week, NYC Mayor Eric Adams approved a $780 million mixed-used developmental project. The plan includes a 25,000-seat stadium for the New York City Football Club, a hotel, and 2,500 units of affordable housing.

Of course there is also the rightfully and prudently contentious matter of any public-funding involved again for dominantly private profits, which is being covered for also this matter by .

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How Real It Is: The Severe Financial Losses In Media

Plain ol' TV means massive losses.

New streaming models are overall unproven financially if not also with some technical issues like latency during live events.

What to do? Well, the questions as are related to changes and new approaches are certainly due all the more and more important than answers nobody truly has right now.

Broadcast TV for live sports works yet is an option only occasionally for smaller sports and leagues, which do not have a mass following like the biggest sports leagues in North America and Europe, with various airings at times also for purposes of community service or make-good or charity of sorts.

Then there's the rest as the cable TV model, which dates fundamentally to the 1990s and has not adapted sufficiently to public tastes since even 2010 during the last shake-up, fades much like the landline phone.

Media Companies Are Having Their Worst Year in Three Decades

Disney shares just posted their biggest drop in two decades, bringing an end to a corporate earnings season that Hollywood and Silicon Valley would like to forget.

The media business is on track for its worst year on Wall Street in at least three decades. Shares in the largest US media companies have dipped more than 50% in 2022, far worse than the broader market. (Tech companies aren’t faring much better.)

Streaming is supposed to be the solution. But the streaming business isn’t as lucrative as the cable business – at least not yet.

Paramount, Comcast Corp., Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery are going to lose about $10 billion on streaming this year. Netflix, 15 years into streaming, is still barely making more than it spends every year. (It will report a profit of more than $6 billion, however.)

This shouldn’t be a shock. The internet has compressed profit margins in almost every business. New players saw an opportunity to re-create physical businesses on the internet. Fueled by venture capital money, they offered products people loved at low prices. That is Amazon with retail. Netflix with TV. Uber with taxis.


How Are Your Online Options or Mobile Options Working Out in Canada for the World Cup?

Here's a review of our situation in the US and those with VPN's with access to the US market.

World Cup Viewing Options Free and Vast in the US

NBC Universal and Peacock Botch Their World Cup Streaming Strategy Splendidly

More Reasons The CFL Should Avoid NBC Universal At All Costs

So as a World Cup fan, the following information has been brought to my attention by other fans.

I quite simply just watch the games on regular free TV either in Spanish on NBCU's Telemundo or in English on Fox.

Fox does put some games on lowly FS1, but of course then Telemundo is still an option for those without cable of the vast record number who have cut the cord.

Then apparently there is Tubi for replays after it appears a free subscription, and then one can also watch the lives games online via Telemundo's website as well without any sign-up or downloading any app.

So despite ample promotion, why would anybody use Peacock to watch the games? Or why would they sign up for Peacock only recently based on its use for the World Cup? Please note that Peacock only has Spanish-language rights to the games as well.

Indeed Peacock does come for free with one's cable internet subscription via XFinity, which they are promoting overtime during the games on Telemundo as otherwise competitors Verizon and T-Mobile are also heavy on promotions.

This reality indicates just how low the market rates Peacock, for it's already found multiple ways to avoid it altogether.

One way or the other, I figure Peacock lasts one more year before a rebrand in 2024 assuming Comcast does not buy out Disney for its 2/3 stake in Hulu and then go down that road.

That event by January 2024, as described in the link in a post above, is essentially the crossroads for NBCU's streaming strategy.

The CFL should not want anything to do with NBC Universal given that their streaming situation has begun a downward spiral.


WWE Having Second Thoughts On Deal With Peacock - What Happened To DVR Functions On The Streaming Apps!?

So here in 2022, who would have thought this soon and for those of you who have also cut the cord, do you remember Digital Video Recorders (DVRs)?

Those of you with a cable TV subscription still have them to go with your monthly fee for one.

Anyway, as I noticed when I still had cable with the DVR whenever watching a stream otherwise, the playback functionality of live TV was LESS than it was on a regular channel via my DVR. This is one of a few reasons I kept my cable subscription longer - I did not want to give up ANYTHING in a switch.

Who would not still want to rewind and fast forward live sports or content accordingly, right?

Apparently Peacock did not put much thought into that consumer reality either, and to be fair, some of the other streaming platforms have only recently added such functionality.

In addition, I would note a key advantage of streaming to a website as opposed to via an app is via a website now you can easily rewind and forward live action to some degree such as when now watching the World Cup action live on Fox or Telemundo sites in the US for FREE (for a set time that is).

So for fans of WWE, check this out and CFL please take note before listening to their pitch to you very long if at all:

Meltzer: “I was told that when Peacock runs live sports events, which they do all the time, that you have to watch it live.”

Alvarez: “You cannot start an hour late and go back and start watching from the beginning. There is no start from beginning feature for live sports.”

Meltzer: “Right, which sucks. And also, the other problem with that is that if somebody does something really screwy or botches a finish or something, you can’t go back (rewind). You have to just watch in real time, and then you have to go back later to search it out, rather than just go back at the time.”

If you use this transcription or any portion of it please credit and link to this page

The move over to Peacock is set to take place on March 18, just three days before the Fastlane pay-per-view event.

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Which isn't streaming, it's broadcasting.......
Streaming is canned files you can go back and watch when you want during or after the event.
Same reason I don't watch Nascar anymore. You can't go back and forth because even on your PVR its locked screw you. If I can't watch it the way I want I won't watch.
Same goes for NHL. When you lock down most of the out of market games - I don't watch any out of market NHL games.

What the internet and fibre everywhere enables you to do is watch what you want, where you want, when you want. Locking and restricting and controlling like the cable company won't attract customers anymore.


In 2023 and 2024 we will see vast transition in streaming services to go with consolidation of those losing and losers like NBCU's Peacock.

With live sports the biggest driver, for one can find a record amount of old or recorded content for free on YouTube and beyond any more, I figure that the broader streaming capabilities with live rewind functions, like with the cable DVR of yore, will win out as well because people who are not locked into subscriptions beyond a month, if that long, are not going to put up with such antiquated nonsense.

But as we have seen in past media consolidations and as in the examples you cite above, what happens if or when the titans of yore win out and then of course decide to change the rules anew back to their old, greedy, corrupt, and often monopolistic cable and telecommunication industry ways?

We saw just that happen not even a decade after the rollout en masse of high-speed cable internet about 2000 with firms secretly throttling high internet use and then only later, compelled by years of regulation and litigation, disclosing that internet use is in fact not 100% unlimited at high speeds let alone truly available 24/7.

That "internet backbone," as we called it long ago, circa 2008 was in the comparative dark ages as compared to what was at hand in 2019 even before the pandemic surge in infrastructure.

Nowadays I'm all for Netflix and for some of the newer ventures not as tied to the old guard for this reason, and I already do not trust the likes of Verizon, NBC Universal / Comcast, Disney / Hulu / ESPN, and others to do well by the public and profit just fine instead of resorting to their old ways that include tactics of extortion via merely oligopoly or monopoly power in any given media market.


Disney Shake-Up

There will be quite the shake-up at Disney as we go into 2023.

As noted above, Disney's streaming operation, which includes Hulu and ESPN+, lost $1.5 BILLION in merely the third quarter of 2022!

I do not see how ESPN won't be massively affected, once again belatedly as dates back to 2009, let alone all ESPN productions down to what we can obtain easily and the price and quality of the final product.

CFL, do you really want to tie yourself all the more to this challenged horse here in the US instead of other streaming and broadcast options that do not share all these headaches at Disney?

Iger is responsible for Disney's all-in embrace of streaming, and the launch of its marquee service, Disney+, but he acknowledged the measurement of success has changed. Wall Street investors now focus on profitability, not merely subscriber gains.

"Instead of chasing (subscribers) with aggressive marketing and aggressive spend on content, we have to start chasing profitability," Iger told a town-hall meeting on the company's Burbank, California, lot, according to a transcript of remarks seen by Reuters.


Peacock Is Now Almost Free Even Without Cable

Short Version: CFL - More Signs and Reasons To STAY AWAY FROM THIS ONE!

So this looks like the final act already at hand going into 2023 for Peacock, which tried yet failed miserably to promote more its PAID service (not all the free first-timers who subscribe to cable) as the World Cup got underway much as noted above.

I happened to notice via my American Express accounts that there is a deal for one year of Peacock for $49.99 with a $15 cash back.

It looks to me like a simple ploy to lock in as many paid subscribers as possible for 2023 as NBC Universal makes a transition to either Hulu or something else in 2024. One or the other will happen by January 2024.

So we shall see what Peacock's numbers look like in February for 4Q2022, and of course we will be left to wonder how many cancelled who did sign up just for the World Cup though that was totally unnecessary given so many other options for FREE without sign-up at all.

The advertising of Xfinity Broadband via Ed Helms in English and Becky G in Spanish has been relentless during the World Cup, and of course NBC U will double count any of those subscriptions for also Peacock though of course we've discussed how the market is already seeing through that ruse in reports of subscriber numbers.


Already Here Before 2023:
The Streaming Service Price War and Kitchen Sink Strategy

CFL Message:
Use great caution for the media and entertainment firm you pick as a new partner for video services beyond Canada, and if the streaming service offered is not as advertised later due to any given market developments as are heavily likely as explained below, have an out addressed explicitly in the agreement so you are not stuck like at ailing ESPN and ESPN+ right now.

So following my post from late October about the average household decision amidst all the very inexpensive video options out there, as follows is an update.

As another sign from a different side of entertainment, did you know that after record numbers via tourism and gambling revenue in Las Vegas through 30 September 2022, the bustling action all year has taken a serious dive recently?

I myself noticed this very same phenomenon when living there, when in early December 2007 in otherwise a year of high activity, I was coincidentally laid off early in a series of waves at my employer from my job.

A few weeks later it was evident that the Great Recession had started there early and those jobs were not around as the West Coast tanked into recession.

Many of you recall the events of 2008 as followed as the Great Recession gripped almost all of the rest of the US with consequences in financial markets worldwide.

When economic slowdown is on the horizon, such are the early signs in the tourism sector.

With the mounting losses from streaming operations, yet a marketplace opportunity that cannot be ignored because there is no going back to plain old TV for all under a certain advanced age,
behold the Price War and Kitchen Sink Strategy of the major media firms.

Anywhere you turn now, to Google TV or any given mobile phone service or even back to your cable or fibre provider, pay for WiFi and then FREE service for months, even 12 months or indefinitely, is the norm not the exception for virtually all the main streaming apps.

At this point, unless it's an extremely niche video offering, I can't say I understand anybody with mobile service and who does not have young children (i.e. the Disney bundle),
who pays more than $4.99 per month for any service, and that is only AFTER a free trial of months or with some other solid discount.

Is it any wonder why these services, pressed to augment their content with NEW offerings because so much content that predates 2020 is ageing so quickly (or is on free YouTube, Pluto TV, et cetera anyway now), are really losing money?

By perhaps October 2023, we shall see which services remain in current form, rebranded, reorganized after merger or sale, et cetera as the now bloated streaming video market sorts itself out.

Quite simply even for FREE there is simply more than one can possibly watch even if retired and financially independent - even for live sports now!

Something has to give, but what will that be by late 2023?

What will TV in 2024 look like?
Will it be easier to use your current set-up, will it be more complicated than it has become (i.e. setting up Google TV today took far longer than it did with any prior service even when doing it right)?
Will video service be more expensive with more restrictions by perhaps fewer players after consolidations and reorganizations?