Here is what has to be one of the strangest TV stories that we’ve reported on today. There is a 30 Rock special set to air this Thursday on NBC … but it’s not actually airing on every NBC affiliate.
As a matter of fact, the majority of affiliates from around the country are opting against airing the special for competitive reasons. According to a report from Vulture, many media conglomerates who own NBC affiliates are looking at the special as a device that brings viewers away from their own network, and rather to NBCUniversal’s new Peacock streaming service. This is a service that will offer next-day viewing of many of the network’s shows to people who pay a fee.
So the problem here is simple: They think that this 30 Rock special is going to convince people to drop their cable subscriptions in favor of something that is a metaphorical bright-and-shiny toy.
Is this something that these affiliates should be worried about? We suppose that in theory, the answer there is yes, but banning a 30 Rock special doesn’t feel like an actual solution to the problem. Instead, this feels a little more like them desperately trying to retain their viewers and hoping that people won’t recognize that Peacock even exists. How about instead of blocking programming from viewers, try to give people an incentive to keep what they already have? There are other reasons to keep affiliates, including local news coverage, live sports, and other syndicated daytime programming that you won’t find at Peacock. This decision, at least from our vantage point, just feels petty.
The Peacock streaming service officially launches tomorrow with a good bit of new and fan-favorite programming. The idea for NBC is to use this as a catalogue for many of their strongest shows over the years, but they also are looking to create even more original programming there — including some reboots of classic comedies.
What do you think about affiliates blocking the 30 Rock reunion show?
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