Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal is finalizing a plan that would drastically change its partnership with Hulu, shifting high-profile programming to its own Peacock streaming platform, according to people familiar with the matter.
Starting this fall, new episodes of shows like “The Voice,” “Saturday Night Live” and “American Auto” would no longer be available on Hulu soon after they air as a result of that plan, they said.
NBCUniversal has taken many steps recently to strengthen Peacock, which has struggled to establish itself in a crowded environment. The move would also be the latest indication of the changing relationship between Hulu’s co-owners — Walt Disney Co.
and NBCUniversal — which went from streaming partners to direct competitors in recent years.
which owns a third of Hulu, launched Peacock less than two years ago, while Disney, which owns the rest, introduced Disney+ in late 2019. The two new services have had varying fortunes: Disney on Wednesday said Disney+ had nearly 130 million subscribers globally, while NBCU last month said over 9 million people were paying for Peacock, which is available free of charge to subscribers of Comcast and other cable providers. Peacock also offers a no-frills, ad-supported version that is free to anyone.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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