Universal Shifts Film Licensing Deal From HBO to Peacock

Starting in 2022, all Universal and Focus films will be released on the streaming service no later than four months after theatrical release

Courtesy of Peacock

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group announced on Tuesday that it is moving its pay-one licensing deal from HBO to Peacock in a multiyear deal that will see all films released by Universal and Focus hit the streaming service no later than four months after their theatrical release.

The new deal is a boost to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service and a blow to HBO, which has had post-theatrical rights to Universal films since 2005.

“Since launching Peacock just one year ago, we have seen incredible viewership of movies and continue to expand our catalog with a range of films for every fan and occasion,” Matt Strauss, chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and International at NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has been a fantastic partner and we are excited to not only bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock in the first-pay window, but also provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.”

The deal will see the traditional 18-month pay-one window get broken up into segments, with Peacock holding exclusive streaming rights to Universal films for the first and last four months of that window. The remaining ten months of the window will go to third-party streamers, with announcements on distribution partners for that segment still to come.

The 2022 films that will be released under this agreement include Illumination’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” which was delayed from its initial 2020 release by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the upcoming blockbuster “Jurassic World: Dominion.” Along with theatrical releases, Universal is also developing original, exclusive titles for Peacock.

“This new dynamic Pay-One agreement demonstrates UFEG’s continued commitment to building a film ecosystem that allows filmmakers and artists to reach the broadest possible audience, celebrates and strengthens the theatrical experience, and, above all, empowers fans to experience the films they love on their own terms,” Peter Levinsohn, vice chairman and chief distribution officer at UFEG, said. “We’re excited to become Peacock’s first Pay-One partner while the platform continues to curate and build a vast film library that will delight its rapidly growing subscriber base.”


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