There’s a new contender in the streaming TV wars. Meanwhile, the pioneer of streaming TV may be getting a new lease on life.
NBCUniversal has rolled out its new streaming service which will have exclusive rights to a beloved comedy. Not to be outdone, HBO Max has picked up one of the most popular shows of the past decade. And after losing a slew of programming, Netflix is trying to turn the tide by paying big bucks for a legendary show.
We’ll tell you which new streaming service has entered the ring. And you’ll find out how Netflix is trying to remain a contender.
NBCUniversal unveils its new service
Word that NBCUniversal was launching a streaming service has been floating around for months. Now, the company has made it official by announcing the new service’s name, programming and start date.
Named after NBC’s longtime logo, Peacock’s first coup is getting exclusive rights to the hit show “The Office.” Peacock paid $500 million, outbidding Netflix. But it will take a while before Peacock subscribers get to see the gang from Dunder Mifflin.
Peacock will launch in April 2020, but Netflix’s rights to the show extend to the end of 2021. Peacock is also considering re-booting “The Office.”
Still, Peacock has a slew of shows produced by NBCUniversal that it can add to its service until then, such as “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Cheers,” “Downton Abbey,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Frasier,” “Friday Night Lights,” “House,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Superstore,” “Will & Grace” and many more.
In addition, Peacock will air films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination. The service also has plans to re-boot “Battlestar Galactica,” “Saved by the Bell” and “Punky Brewster.”
There’s no word on how much Peacock will cost.
Million-dollar deals for show rights
It’s been a tough year for Netflix. Disney+, which launches Nov. 12, stripped Netflix of its exclusive rights to Disney, Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe and Pixar films and programs. This summer, Netflix lost its most popular show “Friends” to WarnerMedia’s HBO Max in a $425 million deal.
But Netflix scored a major win with a more than $500 million deal for exclusive rights to “Seinfeld” that also includes global streaming rights. In addition, the show will be available to stream in 4K. “Seinfeld” will begin streaming on Netflix in 2021 when it leaves Hulu, which is operated by Disney.
Netflix’s big news, however, was overshadowed by WarnerMedia when it announced it was paying a record-breaking $1 billion for HBO Max to have exclusive rights to the recently ended hit show “The Big Bang Theory.” The show will be ready to stream when HBO Max launches next year.
We also know more about Apple TV+, which launches Nov. 1. The service has about 40 original series and programs ready to debut or in development. The shows range from drama, horror, comedy, book adaptations and kids’ programs.
Apple says new shows will be added each month. However, only a handful of series are ready to debut this year.
Consumer budgets may determine winners and losers
There are now seven major streaming services — Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock. Some people may be able to afford all of them, but most consumers’ budgets don’t have much wriggle room. This means that besides programming, consumers will also be weighing costs when deciding which streaming services to get and which ones to drop.
Here’s a rundown of what we know so far about pricing:
Netflix — $9-$16 a month
Hulu — Packages run from $6 to $51 per month
Amazon Prime Video — $119 as part of Prime membership; $9 a month for just Prime Video
Disney+ — $7 a month; $12.99 for Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ bundle
AppleTV+ — $5 a month; one year free if you buy a new Apple product
HBO Max — Not announced but rumored at between $16 and $17
Peacock — No prices announced
Komando.com will keep you abreast of the latest news about these streaming services. While you’re deciding, keep in mind Kim’s advice: don’t buy a service for just one show.