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Against The Wall #1: Three Silver Linings To The Olympic Postponement For NBCU

Given that we’re all stuck at home, we have a chance to play with video and this is our first episode of what we’re calling Against The Wall, because that’s where it feels like we all are right now. They’ll be quick hit takes on breaking news in the TV industry and they’ll definitely be evolving in the weeks to come.

So here’s our first one on three reasons why the decision to postpone the Olympics might not be the Worst Thing Ever for NBCU and Peacock.

Alan Wolk: Hi this is Alan Wolk, and welcome to Against The Wall.  Today, we’re going to be talking about the Olympic Committee’s decision to postpone the 2020 Olympics to next year, and the effect that’s going to have on Comcast NBCU’s new Peacock product

So obviously they’re not real happy about it. They were counting on it in order to launch the product, but we think that there are three reasons that they may have a little bit of hope or a little bit of a silver lining, if you will. 

So, the first reason is that next by postponing until next year, rather than the fall, they’ll be able to get all the ad revenue they would have gotten this year or at least most of it, had they postponed it to the fall. What would have happened was that a lot of those brands likely would have had previous commitments and might not have been able to put the full amount towards the Olympics that they had been planning to over the summer, 

The second reason is that it gives them time to work out some of the kinks. Now, any of these new services may come with some technological kinks, and Peacock was just planning to launch right around the same time as the Olympics. If they had run into a bunch of technological problems, that would have showed up during the Olympics and looked really bad for them, so by the time they get to next year they will have had almost a full year—if not a full year—to iron everything out. So that’s good for them. 

And then the third reason, and this is key, is that right now, we have a content glut, right?  We’ve got all of these shows, people are busy catching up on them, they’re stuck at home. But all these shows are also shutting down production. So, in about six to nine months we’re going to have a content drought, right, we’re not going to have all this content that we have now. And what’s going to come in the middle of that content drought, but the Olympics. So NBCU is going to be in a great position, lots of people gonna be tuning into Peacock because they have nothing but reruns on the other channels. So here they have the opportunity to watch something brand new and something exciting like the Olympics. So in some ways you may actually work out to NBCU’s advantage.