NBC's Streaming Service Now Has More Movies, But Only Very Specific Ones

Photo: Michael Nagle (Getty)

Peacock is getting more movies. Unfortunately, not all of them will be great.

NBCUniversal’s forthcoming streaming service has secured a deal to license content from Lionsgate. The long-term agreement will allow Peacock to launch in April with hundreds of films and series in addition to its lineup of originals and legacy content like Parks and Recreation and The Office. As part of the deal with Lionsgate, NBCUniversal is also licensing content with Starz on its streaming service StarzPlay. The deal further secured continued Starz programming for Xfinity users.

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This is, well, something.

Lionsgate, the production company behind franchises like The Hunger Games and John Wick, does have some gems in its catalog. Ex Machina and Lady Bird, for example, are two very good films under the Lionsgate umbrella. But the company is also home to plenty of rather bad franchises, including Twilight, Saw, and Now You See Me. This deal, therefore, isn’t so much a perk as it is an opportunity for Peacock to pad its content out in much the same way Netflix does. Sure, it certainly gives more selection—most of it just okay—but most subscribers likely won’t be rushing to subscribe for a few mid-00 franchises and the f cinematic universe.

To be clear, Peacock does have a formidable catalog on its own. Aside from The Office—a longtime favorite while it lived on Netflix—Saturday Night Live, Top Chef, and over a dozen other popular series will live on the platform. It’s where the Battlestar Galactica reboot will live as well as upcoming Christian Slater-starring drama series Dr. Death, which is based on the true-crime podcast. Much like Disney, NBCUniversal is in the unique position of launching a streaming service with decades of good legacy content and promising originals. The same can’t be said for other services like, say, Apple TV+, which launched with a modest number of originals that were, with few exceptions, mediocre.

But again, the Lionsgate deal mostly serves users more interested in variety than the strength of the individual films or series—with the exception of a few very specific titles.

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