'Parks and Recreation' Moving Exclusively to NBCUniversal Streamer


NBCUniversal is bringing another of its classic TV shows back home. 

Parks and Recreation will move from Netflix and other streamers to NBCU's forthcoming streaming service, Peacock, in October 2020.

The deal for the Greg Daniels and Mike Schur comedy — which direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises chairman Bonnie Hammer calls "competitive and fair" — is the latest move by NBC to piece back together the streaming rights to its programming library. In June, the company agreed to pay $100 million per year to make Peacock the exclusive streaming home for The Office in 2021 after Netflix's deal for the show expires.

Parks and Rec, which starred Amy Poehler as city employee Leslie Knope, aired for seven seasons on NBC from 2009 to 2015. The show launched the careers of several actors, including Aziz Ansari and Chris Pratt. 

Though neither Parks and Rec nor The Office will be available when Peacock launches in April 2020, NBCU is stocking the offering with other, nonexclusive shows. Included in the lineup are 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Frasier, Friday Night LightsEverybody Loves Raymond, Saturday Night Live, Will & Grace, King of Queens and Married With...Children. Properties from across NBCUniversal's cable portfolio — and some from third-party suppliers — will line the service that will include some 15,000 hours of content.

Hammer says to expect that as Peacock "ramps up" more titles will become available exclusively. "A lot has to do with the marketplace right now and what's available and what's not," she notes. "We're going to invest smartly and strategically." 

One complication for NBCU in gaining exclusive rights to many of its shows is its 33 percent stake in Hulu, which is majority owned by Disney. NBCU has licensed much of its library exclusively to Hulu, including 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Saturday Night Live. (Parks and RecreationCheers and Frasier are currently available on both Hulu and Netflix.) In May, NBCU re-upped its content licensing deals with Hulu through 2024 as part of its agreement to give Disney full operational control of the business. NBCU can terminate most of those licensing deals after a three-year period. Until then, it has the rights to stream the programming it currently licenses exclusively to Hulu in exchange for a reduced licensing fee.

On the film side, Peacock will offer titles from the Universal Pictures, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation. That includes films from the Bourne, Despicable Me and Fast & Furious franchises, as well as such titles as American Pie, Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, A Beautiful Mind, Back to the Future, Brokeback Mountain, Casino, Dallas Buyers Club, Do the Right Thing, Erin Brockovich, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Field of Dreams, Jaws, Mamma Mia!, Shrek and The Breakfast Club.

Universal currently has a domestic output deal with HBO that runs through 2022, and Hammer suggests it will not be impacted by the launch of Peacock. “We’re not trying to stop their business,” she says of her colleagues at Universal. “The film titles we’re announcing today for Peacock are not exclusive at the moment.”

The Parks deal — which covers domestic streaming rights only — arrives as more and more media behemoths have started to pull back their library content as they launch their own services in a bid to better compete with Netflix. Peacock pulled The Office back from Netflix earlier this year in a five-year deal worth $500 million. WarnerMedia's HBO Max did the same with Friends in a pact valued at north of $400 million. Netflix, too, this week revealed it was willing to pony up top dollar for other libraries when it secured exclusive global streaming rights to Sony TV's Seinfeld, beating out competitors including Peacock, HBO Max, Amazon and Hulu.

NBCU is rounding out Peacock’s offering with 3,000 hours of Telemundo programming, including Armas de Mujer. That’s in addition to a slate of scripted and unscripted originals. Click here to see all of the film and TV library content set to stream on Peacock.

Sept. 17, 7:00 a.m. Updated to correct that Parks and Recreation streams on multiple platforms, including Netflix and Hulu.