Peacock, the streaming service owned by Universal Pictures parent company Comcast, posted another huge set of losses in announcing its latest subscriber numbers.
according to variety (opens in new tab)The streaming service ended Q2 2022 with a subscriber base of 13 million and losses of around $467 million, more than $100 million more than the equivalent period in 2022.
The 13 million number represents a flat quarter for the streaming service, which posted identical numbers at the end of Q1 2022. That number represented a four million growth from the service’s number at the end of 2021, but things have changed. stabilized over the next three months.
In a statement released on the flat-line results, Comcast President and CEO Brian Roberts blamed the slowdown on a strong set of options in the first part of 2022, with Super Bowl LVI and the Beijing Winter Olympics available. for transmission in the service.
Roberts, who was writing in the context of total revenues of $30 billion for Comcast, told investors that the second half of 2022 promised big things for Peacock, with the arrival of Jurassic World: Dominion, Jordan Peele Nope’s new horror. and the Qatar World Cup. all hooking in new subscribers.
Roberts said, “At NBCUniversal, excellent theme park results fueled our quarterly growth, and we look forward to our recent debuts and planned content plans and live events from our media businesses and studios, including Jurassic World: Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Nope, Sunday Night Football and the World Cup, to make significant contributions later this year, including to our Peacock subscriber growth.
“Looking ahead, our company is in an enviable strategic and financial position, with substantial cash flow generation and a solid foundation for innovation.”
Are these losses new?
Peacock continues to lose money, in fact, lost a lot more in 2021, $1.7 billion. That was on top of a loss of $663 million in 2020. But as part of a media and themes giant at Comcast, the streaming service’s losses tend to be absorbed into that structure.
Growing a streaming service is expensive, and what will be most worrying for Comcast is the drop in subscribers, not the losses.
When you have as many revenue streams as Comcast, which has revenue streams ranging from Universal Studios theme parks to the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey team, all investors tend to care is that subscriber numbers are going up, so that will be the biggest concern.
Will these losses result in more cancellations?
In terms of cancellations, Peacock hasn’t been as prolific as Netflix or Warner Bros. Discovery, but canceled some notable shows.
Executives canceled their planned TV adaptation of the bestselling and award-winning fantasy trilogy The Green Bone Saga, and its revival of Saved By The Bell bit the dust in early May.
In fact, the streaming service found it difficult to take off. The massively supportive dystopian drama Brave New World only lasted one season, as did The Lost Symbol, its TV spin-offs of Dan Brown’s hugely successful book series.
Over the next few months, the Universal-backed streamer is leaning heavily on young adult fantasy. It’s about to release Vampire Academy, which brings Richelle Mead’s novel of the same name to life, while the second season of the drama One Of Us Is Lying is coming in October.
But after wrapping up The Green Bone Saga, you have to wonder if the streamer’s planned reboot of Battlestar Galactica, the big-budget adaptation of Victoria Aveyard’s young adult series Red Queen, which is being overseen by Elizabeth Banks, and a take on Wild Cards, a shared-universe anthology series of sci-fi superheroes, which is overseen by George RR Martin, could all find themselves in trouble.