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Peacock took in $118m in ad revenue in 2020, but $914m loss met expectations

Peacock collected $118 million in advertising revenue in 2020, but it also booked start-up-style losses of $914 million, which was in line with the company’s pre-launch forecasts.

The figures were in an updated SEC filing Monday submitted by Comcast, which provided adjusted figures for 2019 and 2020. The media giant first reported the financial results for the year in January, noting it had elicited 33 million sign-ups for Peacock. (Sign-ups, of course, are not the same as active users or subscribers.)

The loss broke down as $662 million in adjusted negative EBITDA, as well as $252 million in payments to programming suppliers within NBCU or Comcast. Total revenue of $103.6 billion in 2020 ($27.2 billion of which was from NBCU) fell from $108.9 billion the prior year, reflecting the toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

Comcast has yet to characterize its active user base or the number of subscribers to Peacock Premium, the tier priced at $5 a month with ads, $10 without. NBCU told investors they were targeting 30 million to 35 million active users by 2025, with break-even coming a year earlier than that.

The company said it expects to spend at least $2 billion in the first two years of Peacock, stocking its library and putting original series into development. Two big fish were reeled in during the early part of the year, when The Office shifted from Netflix in an exclusive streaming deal and NBCU reached an exclusive streaming deal with the WWE.

Peacock launched within Comcast’s cable and broadband footprint last April before a nationwide launch in July. Initially, the plan was for the Tokyo Olympics to be a key marketing platform for the new service, but Covid-19 forced the Games to be postponed for a year. Deadline

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