Peacock TV pulls a bait and switch by removing Premier League replays of TV games

 

UPDATE (January 12, 2021): Peacock makes U-turn and will now include Premier League TV games on-demand

 

Earlier this season, despite originally promising Peacock TV subscribers they would have access to on-demand replays of all 380 matches (see screenshot below), Peacock TV has pulled a bait and switch. The updated Help Center page now no longer mentions the 380 games. Instead it refers to “more than 175 exclusive LIVE plus on-demand replays.”

What that now means is that if you missed games that aired live on NBCSN or NBC, you can no longer watch the replays on Peacock TV. The only two ways you can watch replays of those games is to either have them DVR’d or to authenticate the NBC Sports App with your cable/satellite/streaming login credentials to prove that you subscribe to a service that includes NBCSN and/or NBC.

The bottom line is that you would need to subscribe to two different services (Peacock TV and your cable/satellite/streaming provider to have access to all 380 games per season, live and on-demand).

Previously, before NBC Sports and Peacock TV rolled out the changes this weekend without making their subscribers aware, you could watch replays of games on Peacock TV that originally aired on NBCSN or NBC. Now, for example, you can no longer find replays on Peacock this weekend for televised games such as Manchester United-Manchester City or Leeds United-West Ham United.

While this may not seem like a big deal to decision makers at NBC Sports and Peacock TV, it’s another disruptive change for soccer fans.

Most fans of Premier League clubs are already subscribing to a cable/satellite/streaming service to get NBCSN and NBC, as well as paying extra to get Peacock TV. But now, the ease of use of going to Peacock TV to watch all of the games on-demand has gone. Users now have to familiarize themselves again with the clunky NBC Sports App and/or NBC Sports website, and have to remember which games will be available on-demand on Peacock.

Since the time the broadcaster acquired the rights in 2013, NBC Sports have made the Premier League more difficult to access every single season.

Peacock TV is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. While they want to appear to be on the bleeding edge against streaming rivals such as ESPN+, Netflix, CBS All Access and HBO Max, Peacock TV is intrinsically linked with old media. They’re owned by NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast — the nation’s number one cable provider. The last thing Comcast would want is for consumers to cut the cord. But by having both the television and digital rights to a sports league such as the Premier League, Comcast/Peacock can control every single aspect of the customer experience and what users can access.

According to a NBC Sports spokesperson, “Moving forward, replays of Premier League games will be available on the platform that presented the live match coverage. Extended highlights of all matches continue to be available on Peacock Premium.” No explanation or further information was given for Peacock TV’s decision to change their policy mid-season.

Presumably, the changes that NBC Sports and Peacock TV are making are to stem the dramatic number of consumers who are cutting the cord. All it does though at the end of the day is to infuriate its own customers who are already subscribing to the services. The lack of communication, and petty changes, do little to foster a positive customer experience.

 

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