Variety understands that the channel will be a brand new service that exists independent of Sky News and NBC News, with bases likely to be set up in London and New York and a team of journalists around the world. The new venture, which is as yet untitled, could contend with the likes of CNN and Bloomberg.
An international news platform between NBC and Sky, the U.K. pay-TV operator acquired by Comcast in October 2018, was first mooted last April by Comcast CEO Brian Roberts during an earnings call. At the time, the executive said the platform would launch in late 2019, meaning that the service will now likely debut this year.
Last year, Comcast also launched free streaming service NBC News Now.
Sky and its fast-expanding production arm Sky Studios will undoubtedly play an increasingly hefty role in Comcast’s streaming plays. Sky Studios-produced comedies “Code 404,” “Hitmen” and the David Schwimmer-starring “Intelligence” are all set to sit alongside other comedy originals on Peacock.
While the streamer, set for a limited launch in April and a wider national launch in the U.S. in July, has no immediate plans for an international roll-out, it is particularly noteworthy that the service is reliant on Sky technology, which powers the pay-TV giant’s European SVOD plays Now TV and Sky Ticket in Germany.
Last year, former Now TV managing director Gidon Katz transitioned into a new role as president of direct-to-consumer for NBCUniversal, while Variety understands that Patrick Miceli, Sky’s managing director of technology with group TV and digital platforms, is also now working on Peacock.