NBCUniversal is in talks with some of its Peacock advertisers to continue their exclusivity through the fall of 2021 as many of its early Peacock sponsorship deals are nearing an end. Variety reports that NBCU will be seeking primetime TV rates for streaming commercials on Peacock.
It was noted that Peacock has copious amounts of ad inventory to sell in the coming months. The WWE Network just launched on Peacock today for subscribers in the United States, but the NBCU and their streaming platform will also air the Summer and Winter Olympics within months of each other, and they will continue to air other special programming, while growing and attracting new viewers.
The most expensive programming on TV for advertisers always runs in primetime, but primetime is anytime when viewers can watch their favorite shows at the touch of a button. NBCU thinks both types of TV watching should command top ad rates. Laura Molen, NBCU’s President of Advertising Sales & Partnerships, told Variety that they will seek primetime TV rates for ads that run on Peacock.
NBCU has invested heavily in Peacock and they believe the streaming platform gives advertisers the broad reach they need, and has worked to make sure commercials on the platform stand out.
It was noted that Peacock only runs 5 minutes of ads per hour, and that includes a variety of special commercial formats.
“We are committed to building this space for marketers and keeping consumer engagement around their ads,” Molen said. “Our pricing is going to reflect this.”
NBCU put significant effort into bringing advertisers close to Peacock early on, striking deals with top tier advertisers like State Farm and Target, among others, which gave them category exclusivity and a first look at new ad formats, including some that try to capture the attention of the viewer when they pause a program, or when they binge-watch through several shows.
NBCU believes it has Peacock set up as a viable substitute for traditional TV as they have added live sports and news to the line-up, which the WWE Network is now a part of.
“We are projecting to have similar reach to broadcast primetime on key demographics, including audiences between 18 and 49 by the time the fall comes,” Molen said.
NBCU isn’t the only media company seeking premium ad rates for Peacock as other networks are expected to do the same for their streaming platforms. This maintains pricing integrity as viewers migrate to new technology that makes it harder to deliver the big audiences that advertisers demand. Variety notes that the strategy is likely to surface more openly as the industry heads into the annual “Upfronts” season, where networks try to sell most of their ad inventory for their next cycle of programming.
The WWE Network is available on Peacock Premium for $4.99 per month. They are currently running a limited time launch special of just $2.50 per month, and a 7-day free trial is offered. Peacock Premium includes advertisements, but also gives you access to the entire Peacock library, live programming, and more, not just the WWE Network. The Peacock Premium Plus package comes with everything in the Peacock Premium package, but with no ads, at just $9.99 per month. A 7-day free trial is also offered for that package. The Premium Plus plan also allows you to watch select titles offline on mobile devices. Peacock notes that due to streaming rights, a small amount of programming on the Premium Plus Plan will still contain ads.
The roll-out of WWE Network content on Peacock began today, and the entire library is expected to be available for viewing in time for the SummerSlam pay-per-view in late August. The WWE Network standalone app will no longer be an option for viewers in the United States beginning Monday, April 5, but it will work until then. You can visit the WWE Network FAQ page on Peacock for questions and updates.
Stay tuned for more.