Sunday, September 24, 2023

NBCUniversal and JioCinema Strike Partnership to Bring Peacock Content to the Indian Streaming Platform

All NBCUniversal content will soon be available to stream on JioCinema. Reliance’s Viacom18 and NBCU announced a multi-year partnership on Monday, which goes into effect next month — June 2023 — with JioCinema serving as the destination for Universal’s catalog of movies and TV series in India. The programming will be available on a Peacock ‘branded hub,’ accessible to those who are subscribed to JioCinema’s new Premium SVOD tier. The plan is worth Rs. 999 annually and went live just earlier this month as the streamer brought select HBO content to the platform.

It will be interesting to see how the new Peacock/ NBCUniversal hub is fashioned, given the current HBO one doesn’t have any proper branding and its content is simply listed haphazardly under the Premium section. It’s even harder finding HBO content from the homepage, where it finds categories under generic titles such as ‘Hollywood’s Finest’ and ‘Critically Acclaimed’ — lost amongst all the Indian content JioCinema has to offer. At launch, JioCinema has promised iconic films such as the uber-creative Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, the sci-fi horror M3GANthe jurassic franchise Shrek movies, and more.

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The announcement also mentions new releases such as Fast X and The Super Mario Bros. Movie, alongside Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Oppenheimer movie, all expected to come to the streaming platform in the future.

Similar promises were made during the HBO deal, but as May came around, JioCinema’s Premium catalog missed a bunch of titles including peace maker and Euphoria—they’re still missing to this date. I’d recommend taking these content promises with a skeptical attitude — or rather, waiting until people online give initial impressions, or you see these in the catalog for yourself.

The NBCUniversal portfolio includes content from brands such as Universal Television, UCP, Universal International Studios, Sky Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, and more. Comedies from NBCU’s vast library such as The Office, Suits, Downtown Abbey, and Parks and Recreation are also part of the deal. Some of those shows, specifically the Steve Carell-led The Office and the Michelle Dockery-led Downton Abbey, are currently available to stream on Prime Video as well, so for now, it’s unclear whether they will soon disappear from Amazon’s streaming platform.

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Peacock Original series such as the Bel-Air reimagining, Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin, and The Calling, the investigative drama from Emmy award-winner David E. Kelley are also among the offerings here. Fans of reality television are also in for a treat, starting with popular shows such as The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Family Karma, which follows seven Indian-American friends who try to balance the Miami lifestyle with their traditional upbringings.

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“This partnership leverages JioCinema’s reach and expertise to introduce Indian audiences to the Peacock brand and NBCU’s portfolio, while JioCinema cements its position as the largest OTT service in the market, now reinforced by an unprecedented volume of best-in-class films and series from NBCU,” the announcement concludes. Hopefully, the addition of NBCUniversal content to JioCinema also comes with a full-blown interface update that makes it easier to navigate the content you want, in addition to personalized settings such as subtitle size, a resume playback option, and the ability to downvote titles. you aren’t interested in — akin to Netflix.

Currently, there is no concrete date for accessing NBCUniversal content on JioCinema. Pricing for the premium plan is set at Rs. 999, which would also include other premium content such as HBO’s offerings.

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