The service, called SkyShowtime, is expected to be rolled out starting in 2022 in more than 20 European countries, including Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. It will include movies and shows from Showtime, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and Paramount+ Originals, as well as Comcast-owned Sky Studios, Universal Pictures, and Peacock.
SkyShowtime will be a subscription video-on-demand service, but the companies did not announce a price they will charge consumers. The partnership will be a joint venture with equal investment by ViacomCBS and Comcast.
With consumers fleeing pay-TV for online streaming, Philadelphia-based Comcast has tried to catch up in the crowded streaming market dominated by Netflix, Amazon, and others. Last year, the company launched Peacock, a streaming service with free and paid tiers that largely carries content from NBCUniversal and live sports such as the recent Summer Olympics.
Peacock will make its international debut this year when it becomes available for European customers of Sky, Comcast’s U.K.-based pay-TV provider. That will make Peacock available in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland.
As of late July, Peacock had 54 million sign-ups and 20 million monthly active accounts, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said during an earnings call. By comparison, Netflix has 209 million subscribers, and more than 175 million Amazon Prime members streamed video within the last year. Disney+ has more than 100 million subscribers.
“On the heels of Peacock coming to Sky, this partnership provides an innovative approach to quickly scale internationally and monetize content across Europe,” Dana Strong, Sky’s group chief executive, said in a statement.
SkyShowtime will ultimately be available in European countries that encompass 90 million homes, the companies said. Big markets such as France, Germany, Italy, and the U.K. were not on the list.
ViacomCBS shares appeared to benefit from the news. Its stock price closed up 3.69% or $1.44 to $40.47. Meanwhile, Comcast’s share price remained virtually flat, falling 44 cents, or 0.74% to $59.03.