Peacock Taps Allen Iverson to Sell Streaming to Sports Fans

Streaming fans may associate NBC’s Peacock with original shows like “Poker Face” or a place to watch “Saturday Night Live” when one lacks a cable subscription. But the hub’s backers would like people to consider it along with live sports ranging from Premier League soccer to IndyCar racing.

Viewers of an NBC Sports Thursday telecast of an NFL game between the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs will see a new ad starring NBA great Allen Iverson — or “A.I.,” as he’s called in the spot — who helps people understand that “Peacock has the most live sports of any streamer.”

“As the fall sports season ramps up on Peacock with the NFL, Big Ten, Premier League and so much more, it was the perfect time to remind audiences that Peacock is a must-have for sports fans,” said Jo Fox, Senior Vice President of Content & Consumer Marketing, Peacock. “In this campaign, we wanted to playfully tap into the ‘A.I.’ cultural phenomenon and Allen was a fantastic partner in bringing this message to life.”

The streaming wars have largely been fought on the backs of dazzling new movies and scripted series like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Orange Is The New Black” or “The Mandalorian.” Increasingly, however, sports are being drawn into the battle. NBCUniversal has assembled a portfolio of digital sports rights that include Sunday-morning Major League Baseball games, WWE cards and, this season, one NFL regular-season game and a Wild Card playoff game. The streamer also carries “Sunday Night Football,” IndyCar racing and, next summer, a lot of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Others are also getting into the online sporting life. Disney’s Hulu has been showing ads touting that hub as a place for live sports, a message that takes on new relevance given its parent company’s carriage battle with Charter Communications that has removed ESPN from its programming tiers. Warner Bros. Discovery is expected over the next few weeks to introduce a new sports category on its Max streaming site under the “Bleacher Report” brand. Apple has secured rights in recent months to show MLB and MLS matches. And Amazon’s Prime Video continues to push “Thursday Night Football” as a major lure.

The company has acquired other rights in recent years that could help its cause. NBC and Fox jointly hold rights to show USFL games in the spring and NBC is making a big push behind a new package of Big Ten games.

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