Hulu is set to lose next-day feeds of NBCUniversal content like Saturday Night Live in the autumn as the company transitions to streaming exclusivity on its own Peacock service.
According to an NBCU spokesman, Comcast-owned NBCUniversal has ended its arrangement with Hulu, which allowed Hulu to stream its content the day after it aired. Earlier reports had predicted this license move, and an NBCUniversal policy to reserve more of its material for Peacock had been in the works for a long time.
It’s the latest instance of a media giant reclaiming rights to bolster its fledgling streaming service. Peacock, like the rest of the new streaming services like Disney Plus, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Paramount Plus, and Discovery Plus, believes that its unique mix of streaming programs will entice you to join its vision for the future of television. However, as more corporations coalesce around their own service, navigating the platforms you must use (and, in many cases, pay for) to watch your favorite shows and movies online become increasingly difficult.
For years, NBC was a partner in Hulu, but in 2019, NBCUniversal-owner Comcast reached an agreement with Disney to give Disney complete control of the streaming service. That agreement featured license provisions that let NBC broadcast its content simultaneously on Hulu and Peacock. Hulu’s rights for these shows are valid through 2024, but, according to prior reports, NBCUniversal has the power (but not the responsibility) to cancel most of its content-licensing deals with Hulu this year.
Peacock is a streaming service that launched last year and is partially free and partly paywalled. Peacock is one of the few new competitors that provide a free tier, allowing anybody in the United States to view around two-thirds of the catalog while being exposed to advertising. It also includes premium memberships: for $5 a month with commercials or $10 a month without, you may access the whole collection of episodes and movies.
NBCUniversal did not say when its programs will be only available on Peacock or whether it would be paywalled there.