NBC's Peacock nabs 22 million sign-ups, and that's without 'The Office' and the Olympics

Peacock, NBCUniversal's new streaming service, has nabbed 22 million sign ups.

Peacock, NBCUniversal's new streaming service, has nabbed 22 million sign ups.

That's an impressive number for two reasons: The first is that it already puts Peacock within striking range of its long-term sign up goals. NBCUniversal said in January that it expects Peacock to reach 30 million to 35 million active accounts by 2024.

"We are exceeding our expectations on all engagement metrics in only a few months," Brian Roberts, the CEO of NBCUniversal's parent company, Comcast, said on Thursday.

The second reason that Peacock's sign-up numbers are notable is that Peacock has found a user base without two huge draws: The Olympics and "The Office."

NBCUniversal was hoping to use its telecast of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to help boost attention for the new service over the summer. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced the games to be postponed until next year.

As for "The Office," which is one of the most popular series in streaming, it won't be exclusive to the service until after it leaves Netflix next year.

Peacock, which had a soft launch in April before rolling out nationally in July, also has the added the benefit of coming with the low sign up price of $0.

The service has a free, ad-supported option and an ad-free subscription that costs as much as $9.99.

Peacock offers more than 600 films and 400 series including "Saturday Night Live" and "Parks and Recreation" as well as blockbusters from Universal Pictures.

The sign up surge is good news for NBCUniversal considering that its theatrical unit was smashed by the coronavirus pandemic in the third quarter.

The company's film division revenue decreased 25% to $1.3 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Theatrical revenue for the unit decreased a whopping 94.7% because theaters have been closed during the pandemic.

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