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NBCUniversal Gives Comcast Cable Veteran Oversight of Peacock

Comcast is injecting some cable talent into its streaming effort.

The company’s NBCUniversal entertainment arm announced on Monday that it had shifted oversight of the new service, called Peacock, from Bonnie Hammer to Comcast cable veteran Matt Strauss. Hammer, a longtime NBC executive, was named chairman of content studios, where she will oversee the company’s two flagship television studios, Universal Television and Universal Content Productions, in producing programming. Less than a year ago she was made chairman of direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises, overseeing Peacock among other things. 

Hammer will continue to report to NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke. Strauss will also report to Burke and will also oversee digital enterprises. His appointment is significant given that Comcast has traditionally run NBCUniversal very separately from its cable business.

Strauss was an executive vice president at Comcast Cable, overseeing the video, internet, phone and other businesses for the cable business. Comcast credits him with launching its X1 set top box which offered new services like voice-enabled remote control.  

One of the challenges for Comcast in launching Peacock is to balance the needs of its cable business with streaming. The proliferation of new streaming services is likely to speed cord-cutting, prompting cable operators to emphasize their broadband businesses over video.  

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