Competition between companies is a good thing for the consumer. It keeps prices down and product quality up. But can there be too much of a good thing when exclusivity comes into play? When we talk about the video streaming market, there can be. Netflix used to be the only all-you-can-eat streaming option, so paying the additional $7.99/month for 24/7 entertainment did not break the bank. But over the past two years, the streaming landscape has become fragmented, with almost every media conglomerate jumping into the game and offering their own streaming service with exclusive access to their respective content libraries. So now we have to subscribe to multiple streaming channels in order to satiate our ever-growing content appetite.
Comcast-owned NBCUniversal has become the most recent media giant to throw its hat into the streaming ring. Peacock, named after NBC’s iconic logo, launched last week in the U.S. It is backed by NBC’s considerable catalog of beloved TV shows and Universal’s extensive movie library. But you cannot find all of NBC’s shows on this channel. All-time favorite sitcoms “Friends” and “The Office” were notably absent from the service when it launched. Once an existing licensing deal with Netflix expires at the end of this year, “The Office” will appear on the Peacock lineup. “Friends” on the other hand was produced by Warner Bros. TV, which belongs to Warner Media (AT&T), which has its own streaming service in HBO Max. Therefore “Friends” streams exclusively in HBO Max in the United States.
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Michael N. Mercurio is a leading attorney in the field of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He serves as outside general counsel in buy-side and sell-side M&A, as well as in all business law and real estate law matters. As a strategic partner to firm clients, Mr. Mercurio regularly counsels entrepreneurial individuals and assorted entities on the many challenges, issues, and opportunities companies face throughout the business lifecycle—from start-up to eventual exit.
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