Update, July 8, 2021: Amazon’s Prime Video and IMDb TV have announced a multiyear deal with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group that will make UFEG’s new live-action films exclusive to Prime members after the initial four-month Peacock window detailed below. Additionally, IMDb TV nabs an exclusive window for UFEG’s 2020–21 theatrical slate. Several classic Universal titles like Love Actually, Get Out, and the Fast & Furious franchise will also stream free for Prime members.
If you’ve ever been a to a baseball game, you’ve seen the shell game (played with caps) that airs between innings on the scoreboards around the stadium. An object is placed under one of the three hats before they’re shuffled around so quickly that you’re left convinced that you know which hat the object is under even if you lost sight of it a full minute ago. Anyway, that shell game is happening in real time with some of your favorite streaming services today, with the news that Universal has reached a new deal with Peacock that will exclusively bring all of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s theatrical releases to the streamer for a four-month window. Those same streaming rights are currently guaranteed to HBO Max, hence the baseball-cap shuffle of movies and rights from Exhibit A to Exhibit P(eacock).
What you, at home, need to know, is simple: Peacock subscribers will, beginning in 2022, get first (streaming) crack at Universal Filmed Entertainment Group movies, whose upcoming releases include anything under the Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, and DreamWorks Animation Film and Television umbrellas. The goal here, it seems, is to set Peacock up for real success by loading it with Universal sure-to-be-hits while also allowing the company to sell the same streaming rights to third-party outlets after the four-month window is up. It’s a very “having your cake and eating it too,” if your bakery works on the subscription model and also the only way to have all the cake you want is to subscribe to multiple bakeries at once, hoping but never really knowing whether or not one of them has the cake you want to eat.
Now that that’s sorted, can we work on getting Peacock all the Fast & Furious movies instead of just the third, fourth, and fifth? We, like the canonically tall Dom Toretto, just want the family back together.