Why Peacock Can Weather The Writers Strike

The writers strike could potentially hamstring a number of major streaming services over the next few months and delay a number of highly anticipated original shows. Disney has reportedly stopped production on it’s highly anticipated Dare Devil and you can bet many other projects are being shuttered across the TV landscape at the moment.

Will the strike go long? I guess it depends on how concerned writers are at the moment, and the truth is that they should be very concerned. So this might be a long and painful one for the TV industry in general, but especially streaming services. Why? Because unlike TV networks that have shifted a lot of programming to reality TV and competition shows, streaming services have their niche in exclusive, must-watch, highly-produced original content.  So services like the coming “Max”, Disney+, Amazon and Netflix will leave subscribers hanging on some promised content, even when the strike does end because of the monumental delays it will cause. Some people contracted to one series may have to move on to others and create a game of musical chairs in the industry.

But Peacock will could roll through the fall without missing too many beats or antagonizing its subscriber base too much. Why? Because Peacock is not known for any original series. That would seem like an indictment for the modern streaming world but unlike others in the space Peacock has not put billions into creating the mini-movies that other peers have, so their customers are not going to be waiting cross-armed for the next season of the only show they signed up to watch in the first place. What does Peacock have instead? Sports!

Yup. While services like Max with have the rug pulled out from under them going into the late fall Peacock will stream the highly-rated Sunday Night Football every week. It also has WWE programming, which seems to set records at every event with more views year over year. NASSCAR, Premier League,  The Olympics and more live at Peacock. The only other major streamer with that kind of backup plan is Paramount+.

A few years ago, when it launched, the lack of can’t miss original programming seemed like a big problem. Where was its GOT? But streaming services are starting to understand that expensive, exclusive originals don’t drive as much revenue as producing content and selling it to the highest bidder. But for Peacock, which of course is backed by Comcast, features Movies from Universal, Shows from NBC and other Comcast owned channels and a healthy/unhealthy dose of news from both local affiliates and MSNBC. News is another thing most streaming services can not offer. And it’s always happening.

For those who have cut the cord completely, Peacock is becoming a hub for the main money drivers on the TV world. And the fact that it is already setup to serve advertisements means that it can collect money while others have to swerve and repackage. Will Peacock look prescient among its peers? We will see.