PEACOCK has 9 Million paying subscribers & 16 mil total, will 2X content spend in 2022
APPLE makes $15 Million SUNDANCE buy / Claire Danes joins FX series / LIONSGATE makes play for STX
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY January 27, 2022.
Where Ken Jennings’s record is quite safe on “Jeopardy!”, as Amy Schneider’s win-streak ended at 40 last night, and a cool $1.4 Million. Plus getting added in the #2 position on the All-Time Winners plaque on the SONY lot .
ALSO: The DGA announced their TV and docu award nominees. And yes that is “Succession” listed 5 times in the Drama category.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
LIONSGATE exploring STX Film studio purchase
Phoenix investment firm THE NAJAFI COMPANIES has been in talks to acquire it for $175 Million - basically just assuming all of the company’s debt in exchange for ownership. STX was bought by an Indian company EROS about 2 years ago but that was pretty much a disaster.
But LIONSGATE seems to now be making a late-stage play for it as well, no word on terms, price offer or… anything really.
STX’s bill to pay its creditors comes due in Feb so… the fate of the studio behind “Hustlers”, “Greenland” and “Bad Moms” should be sorted real soon. /Variety
APPLE TV buys SUNDANCE pic “Cha Cha Real Smooth” for $15 Million
Once again whipping out the biggest checkbook in virtual Park City… $15 Million is for global rights, as APPLE TV does.
Directed, written by & starring Cooper Raiff, playing a directionless NJ college grad who gets in over his head starting a thing with a young mother who has an autistic teen daughter. Dakota Johnson plays the mom, also stars Leslie Mann and Brad Garrett. /Deadline
SEARCHLIGHT buys Emma Thompson sex comedy “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” to stream on HULU. $7.5 Million price tag, US rights only. /Variety
FOCUS FEATURES pushes “Downton Abbey” sequel from March 18 to May 20
This leaves March with a total of… 2 wide releases 🤦♂️. “The Batman” on March 4, and STX’s latest Statham-Ritchie movie “Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre”. /THR
ALSO: FOCUS then pushed the Mark Rylance thriller “The Outfit” back a few weeks into that March 18 slot.
ALSO IN MOVIES
NEW LINE orders script for “Mortal Kombat” sequel, hires “Moon Knight” writer Jeremy Slater. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
FX ON HULU sets Claire Danes to co-star in “Fleischman Is In Trouble” limited series
Based on the best-selling book by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who is writing here as well.
Jesse Eisenberg already set as “Fleischman”, Danes plays his wife who unexpectedly disappears after their divorce, and Lizzy Caplan rounds out the lead-trio. /Deadline
NETFLIX orders series “The Diplomat” from Debora Cahn (“Homeland”)
8 episodes, about, well, a diplomat #ReadTheTitle who gets a high-profile job that she’s unsuited for… right in the middle of an international crisis. Always the way 🙇♂️. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
SHOWTIME adds Nick Stahl to vampire series adaptation of “Let the Right One In” with Demian Bechir. /THR
Dick Wolf launches International division selling rights to create localized versions of “Law & Order” franchises. /THR
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
PEACOCK hits 24.5 Million “active accounts”, but PREMIUM has 16 Million subscribers
PEACOCK PREMIUM has 9 Million paying subscribers, first time they’ve revealed a number.
Plus an additional 7 Million get and use PREMIUM mostly for free, as the Ad-Supported version is included in COMCAST, COX or SPECTRUM cable or internet subscriptions, or those customers get a discount on the Ad-Free version.
So 16 Million people have access to PEACOCK ORIGINALS. No specifics given as to what is most watched, or how many get the Ad-Supported ($5) or Ad-Free ($10) versions.
Doing the math… another 8.5 Million people use PEACOCK for free at least once a month, meaning more people likely pay for PEACOCK PREMIUM than use free PEACOCK.
These numbers are all for the US (#s from its free inclusion for SKY UK & IRE customers not disclosed).
PEACOCK Avg Revenue Per User #ARPU is “near” $10 which is really solid, and that includes Ad revenue - I’m presuming this is just for the 16 Million PEACOCK Premium customers… but it was not delineated if the additional 8.5 Million freeloaders were included. Or, if it was just for the 9 Million truly paying folks.
In terms of the 24.5 Million “active accounts, that’s +4.5 Million in 6 months.
No new data on “signups”, which they wisely stopped reporting in July at 54 Million.
HOWEVER… PEACOCK IS BLEEDING CASH RIGHT NOW
PEACOCK lost $1.7 Billion in 2021 (3X the 2020 loss), roughly 1/3 of that ($559 Million) was in Q4 alone. 2021 Revenue was $800 Million.
Expecting $2.5 Billion loss in 2023. Says profits from Theme Parks will be used to fund PEACOCK, but said yeah… that whole “break even by 2024” thing we said last year probably won’t happen.
They spent $1.5 Billion on content in 2021, and will 2X Content spend in 2022 up $3 Billion, and up to $5 Billion in the “next few years”.
If you like these #MediaNerd breakdowns… hit the Heart icon at the very bottom of the email, cuz I really have no idea. Thanks!
OVER AT COMCAST
BROADBAND: +212k subscribers. They added 538k this period last year
TOTAL: 31.9 Million (incl business accounts)
CABLE TV: -349k subscribers, vs loss of 248k this period last year
TOTAL: 18.1 Million (incl business accounts)
COMCAST lost 1.6 Million TV customers in 2021, their biggest loss in the past 5 years by far, and likely ever.
MOBILE: +312k, best quarterly add ever since launch
TOTAL: 4 Million
HOME PHONE: -176k, loss of 548k on the year, 2X the losses of 2020.
TOTAL: 10.4 Million
COMCAST now brings in more pure Revenue from BROADBAND than Cable TV, which also took a 12% hit in Ad revenue likely due to drop in Political spending.
Over at SKY in Europe, their revenue was slightly down (2.4%), mainly due to the loss of SERIE A soccer rights in ITALY which apparently caused some churn.
ALSO IN MEDIA
Hedge Fund guy Bill Ackman reminds Wall Street that NETFLIX is still leading the streaming future by leaps and bounds, announces he “bought the dip” on the stock’s recent tumble and purchased 3.1 Million shares, a $1+ Billion spend. Makes him a Top 20 NETFLIX investor. NETFLIX stock +4% after hours /Reuters
Bill also has a sizable share of UNIVERSAL MUSIC… so he has his Audio and Visual streaming needs covered.
MSNBC sets Stephanie Ruhle to take over Brian Williams’s 11p time slot. /Axios
SPOTIFY is pulling Neil Young’s music per his request. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
LIONSGATE -5% ($15.74)
SPOTIFY -5% ($174.79)
SNAP -6% ($28.63)
T (AT&T) -8% ($24.25), DISCOVERY -9% ($24.40)
Granted, this also has a lot to do with forecasts that AT&T Wireless growth will slow… but the fact that DISCOVERY stock dropped as well - yeah Wall Street did not like the lack of HBOMAX 2022 subscriber forecast growth thing either. The increased Streaming production & marketing costs & lower profitability thing didn’t help either.
But… CINEWORLD (REGAL Cinemas) +7% ($0.56) because why not.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
FREEFORM “Grown-ish” - Season 4 premiere at 10p
HBOMAX “Take Out with Lisa Ling” - No link avail in advance of the series
HBOMAX “The Fallout” movie - This looked good, it’s the movie about the unlikely friendship & trauma that develops after a school shooting. Stream or Add to Your List here
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
NETFLIX “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming” trailer - Premieres Fri Feb 25
HBOMAX “About Last Night” series trailer - Steph & Ayesha Curry invite couples over to get a little boozed up and answer provocative questions. Ok yes most seem to be sexual in nature but I’m sure there’s some stuff about leaving the toilet seat up too. Premieres Thu Feb 10
HBO “My Brilliant Friend” Season 3 teaser - Premieres Feb 28
HBO “Painting with John” season 2 trailer - Premieres Fri Feb 18
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
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