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Sky customers to get Peacock streaming service for free

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The Office US
The Office US

Sky's American owners will use the satellite broadcaster to expand its on-demand Peacock platform across Europe as it battles Disney and Netflix.

Comcast has struck an agreement to bring the streaming service behind Brave New World and American remake of The Office to Sky's 20m European customers.

The US company is among the media giants attempting to win market share from Netflix and Amazon in the crowded and fiercely competitive global streaming market.

The move also supports Sky's attempts to survive the streaming wars by cementing its position as an aggregator of on-demand services to try and prevent customers cancelling their subscriptions.

Sky has already struck deals with Netflix, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ to offer customers access to those services through a single Sky subscription.

Dana Strong, Sky's chief executive, said Peacock's 7,000 hours of content was an "exceptional value add" that underscores the customer benefits from "synergies across Sky, NBCUniversal and Comcast cable".

Peacock will be made available later this year at no extra cost via Sky's premium service Sky Q, its streaming platform NOW TV and Sky Ticket.

It marks the first step in an international expansion of the service following its launch in America on April 15.

The announcement came as Sky's profits tumbled by a quarter to $560m (£401m) in the second quarter due to costs linked to the return of live sport.

The Succession broadcaster said higher sports programming costs weighed on the bottom line as more sporting events were held this year compared to the wide-spread cancellations seen during the height of the pandemic.

Customers also decreased by 248,000 to 23.2m over the period, but revenues rose by 28pc to $5.2bn helped by a rebound in the advertising market.

Meanwhile, Comcast's revenues and profits rose by fifth to $28.5bn and 13pc to $8.9bn respectively, underpinned by an "exceptional" performance from its cable business.