Sometimes the first part of planning something is to make a plan then tear up the plan and do something else. Comcast had to do that with Peacock, but slowly but surely the plan is taking shape. The latest move from the streaming service brings notable morning news programming to is $9.99 Premium Plus and portends primetime programming joining the fray if the numbers work out with this first foray. The Premium Plus tier of Peacock started as a commercial-free version of its full “premium service” which included all Peacock originals (Most of which flamed out quickly), access to live sporting events like Sunday Night Football, Notre Dame football and the Premier League and later the WWE library with live premium events. In the past year though the service added an important new feature that included access to a live feed of a subscriber’s NBC affiliate, very much mirroring the $9.99 tier of Paramount Plus and CBS.
Comcast must believe they have something in the cable news division that will juice things for the service because today the company announced that Premium Plus subs will now be able to live stream morning talk shows from MSNBC and CNBC. Scarborough Country, a longtime staple of MSNBC will stream live to customers from 6-10 am as will CNBC morning show Squawk Box, which airs from 6-9 am M-F.
“We’re continuously exploring ways to expand Peacock’s premium live content, and creating this unique morning news hub powered by trusted sources across NBCUniversal is something only Peacock can do,” said Brian Henderson, executive vice president of programming, Peacock, in a statement. “With ‘Morning Joe’ and ‘Squawk Box’ live each morning, not to mention ‘Today’ for our Premium Plus users, we’re giving subscribers a new reason to start each morning with Peacock.”
The question is when will the rest of MSNBC’s programming make the jump. With cable profits falling every month channel owners have been looking for ways to make up for it and a $10.00 per subscriber service helps make up the difference if viewers care about the content but don’t want a big bundle anymore. Sure customers can get MSNBC programming from services like Sling TV, Hulu With Live TV and YouTube TV, but they may not be interested in paying 65 to 70 dollars for the privilege depending on how many other channels they truly value that can’t be replaced with other more specific services. If Peacock becomes a source for Rachel Maddow live on Monday nights and breaking political coverage during major national events like election nights then $9.99 for that. NBC, CNBC content, Peacock Originals, WWE, NBC Sports, Yellowstone Universal Pictures releases and more becomes a pretty impressive package. If it takes things one step further and gives users access to all of the content from USA and Syfy it could start being viewed as a can’t-miss option.
We will see where this goes.