WSJ: Comcast's NBCUniversal is in advanced talks to acquire Vudu

Mariella Moon
Associate Editor
fizkes via Getty Images

Comcast-owned media company NBCUniversal is in "advanced talks" to acquire Vudu from Walmart, according to The Wall Street Journal. We're just a couple of months away from the launch of NBCUniversal's new streaming platform called Peacock, so the company's interest in another streaming service may seem curious. However, the company may simply be using the same tactic employed by many other media firms in an effort to better compete with big players like Netflix: one that entails tacking ad-supported platforms onto their business.

As we discussed last year, it's getting expensive to keep up with TV due to the increasing number of streaming options popping up. Companies need to find a way to make money, especially those pumping millions into their projects. WSJ says that Vudu would complement Peacock if the sale goes through, and its online movie rental service would support Fandango, NBCUniversal's movie ticketing and rental business. Peacock would set users back $10 a month for the ad-free tier and $5 for the ad-supported one. Vudu doesn't have a subscription fee. It has shows users can stream at no cost, but they can also pay for movies and series not available for free.

The possibility of Vudu's sale doesn't exactly come as a surprise. Walmart announced a lineup of originals for the service in May 2019, but a report that went around a few months later said the retail giant would consider selling the ad-supported streaming platform if it finds a buyer.