Peacock And Reelz Strike Unusual Carriage Deal Bringing Linear Channel And On-Demand Programming Like ‘On Patrol: Live’ To NBCUniversal Streaming Outlet
In a sign of the times, Peacock and independent network Reelz have struck an unusual carriage deal putting the linear channel and on-demand programming onto the NBCUniversal streaming service.
Taking effect tomorrow, the pact will add exposure for Reelz non-scripted hit On Patrol: Live, the police docuseries hosted by Dan Abrams, who had been behind Live P.D. on A&E. New episodes of the show, which is produced by Big Fish Entertainment’s Half Moon Pictures, will be available live on Peacock on Friday and Saturday nights, with on-demand access the following day. Other series of note on Reelz include On Patrol: First Shift, Jail, Cops and Autopsy: The Last Hours of…
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Terms were not disclosed in a press release announcing the deal. The task of securing carriage in a shrinking pay-TV ecosystem has become a daunting one for programmers, especially for general entertainment. From its peak of more than 100 million homes a decade ago, the pay-TV universe has fallen below 70 million and is shedding millions of households a year. At the same time, Peacock and its rival streaming outlets at other media companies have become a central priority of their parent companies in recent years.
On Patrol and other Reelz programming will be available to Peacock Premium and Premium Plus subscribers. The move adds to Peacock’s existing network offerings. Unlike rival subscription streamers, Peacock since its launch in 2020 has offered linear third-party channel feeds as well as branded FAST channels focused on Saturday Night Live, Today and other in-house properties. Those offerings were part of the initial strategy to focus on the free, ad-supported tier of the service. With the free tier being de-emphasized, subsequent moves like a Hallmark Media distribution deal last October and the absorption of the WWE Network in 2021 have been aimed at bulking up the Premium tier.
On Patrol: Live has recaptured a large chunk of the audience that tuned in for Live P.D., which reached its end in part due to the tumult in 2020, which saw nationwide protests against police after the death of George Floyd and others at police hands. The series lifted the 25-to-54-year-old viewership on Reelz by some 270%, according to today’s carriage announcement.
The crime-and-justice tilt of Reelz programming is also a fit for Peacock. The streamer has seen success with titles like Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies; Amber: The Girl Behind the Alert; and I Love You, You Hate Me.
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