Comcast hopes Spanish-language media will put Peacock in the green

The news: Spanish-language network Telemundo is launching a streaming brand later this year on Peacock called Tplus. This will bring existing and original content to the platform as NBCUniversal and parent company Comcast try to carve out space in the competitive streaming market, per The Hollywood Reporter.

  • The content hub will be available at launch to premium-tier Peacock subscribers at no additional cost.

More on this: Peacock is having a rough go of it. Netflix, Disney+, and a select few others have firmly established themselves as the top dogs of streaming, leaving little room for smaller competitors like Peacock and Paramount+, which have struggled to attract customers.

  • Peacock is bleeding money. Revenues are increasing significantly, but so are losses. The streaming service contributed to Comcast’s $520 million loss in Q3 2021, but Peacock’s revenues still increased significantly year over year to $230 million.
  • Still, Comcast isn’t ready to give up on the platform. Tplus was first teased in August when the company said it was ready to “supercharge” its streaming investment, betting big on the underserved Hispanic and Latino communities in the US. But these demographics are beginning to get more attention from advertisers.
  • However, Tplus is not only aiming to capture the attention of Spanish speakers. Romina Rosado, the executive vice president and general manager of Hispanic Streaming at NBCUniversal, told The Hollywood Reporter that Tplus “has a role to play” in the rise of foreign-language content’s popularity in the US.The comment serves as a not-so-subtle sign that Peacock is hoping to draw in non-Spanish-speaking viewers and create its own “Squid Game”-like hit.

The challenges: Though NBCUniversal said it is planning to create over 50 original projects for Tplus, its announced launch lineup is slim. And though Korean films and TV shows have opened up the floodgates for foreign-language hits in the US, Spanish-language media hasn’t had the same levels of success.

  • The Tplus rollout mimics moves that have benefited competitors. NBCUniversal will unveil the brand close to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which it has exclusive rights to stream in Spanish. Amazon has similarly bet on sports streaming to attract subscribers at home and abroad, streaming Thursday Night Football games in the US and live cricket in India.
  • Several of the few Tplus originals announced thus far also target English- and Spanish-speaking audiences. Two are docuseries that focus on Latin American media and have already breached the language divide—one will focus on broad Latin influences on culture, while the other will follow popular musician J Balvin.

Looking forward: Tplus shows that networks are smartly thinning the partitions between English- and Spanish-language content now that shows like “Squid Game” have proved the potential for non-English media in the US.

  • Success isn’t guaranteed, though. Last year, theTokyo Olympics were also supposed to draw swaths of paying viewers to Peacock, but it instead was one of the least-viewed Olympics in recent history.