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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was interviewed on CNBC on Tuesday morning, where he addressed continued interest in the potential of industry consolidation, NBC weighing whether to cut the 10 p.m. hour and, yes, Peacock.
Last quarter, NBCUniversal reported that its paid subscribers to Peacock stalled at 13 million, essentially flat with Q1. On Tuesday, Shell told CNBC’s David Faber that paid Peacock subscribers have since risen to 15 million and that the company has an average revenue per user (ARPU) of $10 per subscriber.
Shell also addressed reports that NBC was considering whether to stop programming the 10 p.m. hour and instead hand it back to local affiliates. Shell said that the company was not ready to make any final decisions but that it did intend to “reallocate resources” to invest in growth businesses and manage declining ones.
And he also addressed the issue of consolidation, with some speculating that Comcast could be an acquirer of other entertainment or video game assets, including, potentially, Warner Bros. Discovery (last week WBD CEO David Zaslav reassured employees that the company was “absolutely not for sale”).
Shell said that the company doesn’t need to make any M&A moves, telling Faber that “we have all the scale to do what we need to do.” However, he added that the company would be opportunistic if deals came around at the right price, citing the acquisition of DreamWorks, which he spearheaded for the Universal film studio.
As for Hulu, Shell said that the company would love to own it … but expects Disney to fulfill its contractual obligation and buy out Comcast’s remaining stake in the streaming service.
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