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Peacock UK: 6 Months Later, It’s Still Bad

Peacock launched half a year ago in the UK. In this opinion piece, guest writer Ethan Holloway explains why it's still not good and how to fix it.

While we are usually focused on USA services, Ethan wanted to share his opinion on Peacock in the UK. We welcome guest writers! Send us an e-mail at editorial@dejaview.news if you’d got something you’d like to express through writing!

Back on November 16th, 2021, Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal finally launched its streaming service Peacock in the UK and Ireland for existing customers of Comcast’s Sky TV. Six months later, Peacock has added very few titles or features, so let’s have a look at why Peacock in the UK kinda sucks.

1) Peacock Is Bundled With A Cable Bundle NOT WiFi

This is the biggest problem with Peacock. In order to access the service in the UK or Ireland you need to pay for one of the following services offered by Sky:

  • NOW (originally called Now TV)
  • Sky Q (Hybrid of cable and streaming, Netflix is included in this subscription)
  • Sky HD+ (a cable box)

This is bad for potential subscribers of Peacock as in order to get the service in the UK you need to be a customer of Sky TV in some form. If Comcast wanted Peacock to be successful in the UK market they should bundle Peacock with Sky’s Broadband and Mobile Data plans instead of the traditional cable package. Peacock is a supposed replacement to cable, not an addon.

2) Big Franchises Are Non-Existent On The Service

This is another big issue with Peacock in the UK and that’s the lack of notable franchises being available on the service. Some notable missing franchises include:

  • Ted
  • Fast and Furious
  • Pitch Perfect
  • Shrek
  • Despicable Me/Minions
  • How To Train Your Dragon
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Jaws
  • Jason Bourne
  • Madagascar
  • Jurassic Park/World
  • Back To The Future

The lack of notable movies and franchises on Peacock in the UK is another prime example of why the service is faltering in the thriving UK streaming market. In the UK the most notable films on Peacock are Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Hot Fuzz, Kick-Ass and Johnny English Strikes Back all of which are great movies but aren’t big enough to really draw much attention from potential new subscribers.

Editor’s Note: One of the best films in history streams on Peacock UK.

3) Sky Runs A Competing Streamer To Peacock Already

This is a huge red flag and should have been addressed by Comcast, Sky and NBCUniversal before Peacock launched in the UK and that is the fact Sky operates a competing service to Peacock in the form of Now (formerly Now TV). now there are a few differences between Peacock and Now, for one Now has licensed shows from companies like HBO, ABC and CBS. another core difference is Now offers subscription tiers for Sports and Movies which cost extra on top of your monthly subscription to use Now as a service.

If Comcast was planning this launch, months in advance then they would have been well aware of the existence of the Now streaming service, especially since the team behind Now helped develop the Peacock service.

4) NBCUniversal Has Too Many Licensing Deals In The UK

Let’s get this point finished, in the UK NBCUniversal currently licenses content to Amazon Prime Video, Britbox, Netflix and Sky to name a few. One notable Peacock original, One Of Us Is Lying, was released in the UK on Netflix as a Netflix Original, not to mention titles like E.T. and Jaws are streaming on Netflix cutting them out from being available on Peacock. The same issue plagues the original 1933 version of Universal’s The Invisible Man, however that film is licensed to Britbox.

How Would I Fix Peacock UK?

Well, this is a simple fix. First of all, I would make Peacock a standalone streaming service and offer it with Sky Broadband and Mobile Data. Peacock would also need a redesign of the app to match the recently revealed USA redesign. I would also share all NBCUniversal content between Peacock and Sky to help make sure Peacock doesn’t cannibalise Sky’s cable business too much, as well as try to regain some titles from Netflix and Britbox. 

Peacock could have dominated in the UK market with access to live sports and news thanks to Sky, and offering some of the biggest movies ever made, not to mention the ability to bundle the service with Sky Broadband which is a huge advantage over competing services. Peacock could have come out and run with the wolves in the streaming wars in the UK, but with Paramount+ launching near the end of June, time is running out. Paramount+ can utilise their UK Channel Five Broadcaster to fill Paramount+ in the UK, this would be bad news for Peacock.

Will Peacock listen and try to fix things? I don’t know, but we can dream.

Freelance Writer | Website | + posts

An Autistic Disney, Marvel and Star Wars fan from England. Ethan is an advocate for equal representation in media for people of colour, LGBTQ+, women and people with disabilities. One day he'll be a published author mark his words, but for now, he covers Disney stuff.

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