US film giant NBCUniversal will give most of its programs and films to pay-TV and streaming company Foxtel as incumbent streaming partner Stan looks for alternative ways to get Hollywood content to subscribers.
Multiple media sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential, said Foxtel was on the verge of a long-term deal for most of NBCU’s programming, including content from Sky Studios, online streaming service Peacock and a back catalog of programs such as Parks and recreation areas and Brooklyn 99. According to sources, the deal is nearing completion and could be completed within a week.
Other media sources said Seven West Media is expected to acquire the rights to free-to-air some content, including reality show content that is usually shown on Hayu. Foxtel, Seven and NBCUniversal declined to comment.
Incumbent Stan, whose contract expires this year, had been in talks to bring the software to its subscribers, but sources said the service and its parent company Nine Entertainment Co walked away weeks ago due to issues with pricing and clauses that give NBCUniversal’s ability to stop and start its own Peacock service at any time. Nine, the owner of the mast, declined to comment.
Stan’s loss of content could be a blow to his content slate, depending on the agreements he has made regarding existing NBCUniversal content and the exclusivity clauses in the next deal. Sources close to Stan said the company is already looking at alternative models that it believes will give it control over content.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are commercially confidential, said Nine boss Mike Snisby and other key executives were traveling to Los Angeles to talk to Hollywood studios about individual shows that could be ordered and then distributed in the US and Great Britain. This focus on content ownership is part of a gradual change for Stan, who in the early days relied on large production deals to support his business and grow subscriptions.
In 2020, NBCUniversal inked a deal with Stan for Peacock originals that includes Gangs of London, I hate Susie and Brave New World (it ends this year). But at the same time, Stan announced plans to start boarding on the main thrust of local content amid concerns that it was too dependent on Hollywood studios. Sneesby has publicly stated that most of Stan’s best-performing shows are company-commissioned originals.
Under a proposed new deal with NBCUniversal, Foxtel will gain access to programs and films from NBCUniversal brands such as Peacock, Sky Studios and Bravo. Seven will also have access to its back catalog, and some sources say it will have access to programming from NBCUniversal’s reality streaming platform, Hayu.