NBCUniversal will give most of its programs and films to streaming company Foxtel, as existing streaming partner Stan looks for alternative ways to get Hollywood content for its subscribers.
The news comes from sources who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald under promise of anonymity due to the talks between NBCUniversal and Foxtel being confidential.
According to the sources, Foxtel is on the cusp of securing a long-term deal for the a large swathe of NBCU’s programs. The deal apparently covers content from Sky Studios, online streaming service Peacock, and a back catalogue of programs such as Parks & Recreation and Brooklyn 99.
The deal was being finalised and could be completed within the week, the sources said.
Seven West Media is apparently expected to pick up free-to-air rights, including content which normally runs on Hayu.
Stan, which currently serves NBCU’s content, has a contract that expires this year, had been involved in talks to retain the content. However, according to SMH, the service and parent company Nine Entertainment Co walked away “several weeks ago” due to concerns over price and clauses that would give NBCU the power to terminate and launch its own Peacock streaming service at any time.
Sources close to Stan told SMH that the company is already looking into alternative models, which it believes will give it control over content.
Nine boss Mike Sneesby and other key executives had apparently travelled to Los Angeles to talk with the Hollywood Studios about shows that could be commissioned and then distributed in the US and UK. According to the sources, the focus on owning content is part of change of direction for Stan.
Two years ago, NBCU signed a deal with Stan to let it licence Peacock originals including Gangs of London, I Hate Suzie, and Brave New World. However, Sneesby had said publicly that most of the service’s best-performing shows were originals and Stan would be launching a local content drive.
The proposed new deal between NBCU and Foxtel would give the streaming service access to programs and films from NBCU brands such as Peacock, Sky Studios, and Bravo. Seven will also have access to the back catalogue and some sources have said it will have access to programs from NBCUniversal’s reality streaming platform, Hayu.
Both deals are expected to include a clause that gives NBCU the option to terminate the agreement and launch Peacock.
Foxtel, Seven, NCBU, and Nine all declined to comment.
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