NBCUniversal Television and Streaming Chairman, Mark Lazarus, was the first keynote speaker of the market, and discussed the company’s strategy, the success of Peacock and the changes that the pandemic is causing in the industry.
NATPE Virtual Miami 2021 kicked off today with Telemundo Global Studios’ Screening and, just after that, the first of the scheduled “BIG Openings” took place. After some opening words from Andy Kaplan, Chairman of the Board at NATPE, and JP Bommel, President and CEO of NATPE, the “The BIG Opening: Vision of Television 2021” began with NBCUniversal Television and Streaming Chairman, Mark Lazarus, as keynote speaker.
In dialogue with Hoda Kotb, Co-anchor of NBC News’ “Today” and co-host of “Today with Hoda & Jenna,” Lazarus described NBCUniversal as a great company and indicated that the goal is to build for the future. “We wanted to create a unified approach so that we can build a wonderful content strategy. My goal is to make sure this company is resilient for the next two decades. We have to build towards the future, and the future is changing fast. That is why we brought together all of our businesses,” he commented.
Consulted about the group’s strategy, Lazarus talked about a “content-based strategy” where all the company’s assets are unified. “We brought together all of our businesses: two broadcast networks – NBC and Telemundo –, all of our cable assets – regarding of genres –, all of our sports businesses, all of our stations and the OTT business, which is also a big part. That allows us to tap into the tremendous scale of all of those budgets together, and not isolating them and worrying about each individual business,” the executive said.
“We are taking pieces of content, either acquired or created, and using them in multiple platforms, where they can be seen by the most people and have the most value,” Lazarus added. To exemplify, he mentioned the “Harry Potter” films, the competition show “Cannonball”, the Premier League and some NFL matches, all titles or events for which NBCUniversal has the rights and the ability to broadcast from various platforms.
Then, he referred to Peacock, its ad-supported streaming service, and admitted that NBCUniversal took a different approach with this service since, being the platform free but with the possibility of accessing more content with the paid version, the business model is different from that of the more traditional OTT. “Peacock leverages our company’s strengths, and the biggest drivers of sign-ups come from our own studio shows. Those are the products that people are attracted to,” he assured.
Lastly, regarding the ongoing Covid situation and the future of the industry, Lazarus noted that “the pandemic has accelerated changes that were already taking place,” and mentioned that “the industry has to lead consumer behavior instead of following it”. After that, he said: “The industry has done a wonderful job of getting back to work. We should all be proud of that”.
The industry has to lead consumer behavior instead of following it” Mark Lazarus Chairman NBCUniversal Television & Streaming