BUDWEISER JONS OTHER BRANDS IN SUPER BOWL SIT OUT: Budweiser is opting out of advertising in the Super Bowl, a first since 1983. Anheuser-Busch will still have ads for Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer. Pepsi is also opting out, and focusing on sponsoring the halftime show. Returning brands include M&M’s, Pringles, Toyota and others.
JODIE TURNER-SMITH TO TOPLINE THE WITCHER: Queen & Slim’s Jodie Turner-Smith will lead Netflix‘s six-part limited series The Witcher: Blood Origin, a prequel to The Witcher. The series is set in an elven world 1,200 years before the series. Turner-Smith will play an elite warrior with the voice of a goddess, who has left her clan and her role as Queen’s guardian to become a nomadic musician.
PEACOCK TO STREAM WWE: NBCUniversal‘s Peacock will be the only place to watch WWE fights. The WWE Network currently has 1.1 million subscribers, all of whom will be migrated to Peacock, where they’ll be able to access the network and will pay 50% less, while also getting full access to Peacock Premium. For Peacock, the WWE Network is “a transformative addition,” said Rick Cordella, Peacock’s EVP and chief revenue officer. “We have a lot of data that shows live events and sports drives a lot of user acquisition,” he said. “The bet is that there exists a much larger total available audience for WWE programming than is on WWE Network today.”
TWITTER AND NBC EXPAND PARTNERSHIP: NBCUniversal and Twitter are expanding their global relationship, which dates back to 2013. The deal with amplify several NBC specials and programs, including the Golden Globes, E! People’s Choice Awards and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, with new programming efforts like a Black History Month initiative and Andy Cohen‘s Twitter-only Watch What Happens Live after-show. “With this strategic partnership, NBCUniversal’s leading video content meets Twitter’s worldwide reach, empowering marketers to connect with global audiences, while bringing consumers curated premium content on an engaging platform,” said Krishan Bhatia, president and chief business officer of NBCU ad sales. “The growth in digital viewing has been nothing short of explosive in recent years and together with Twitter, we’re helping our partners engage audiences in a brand-safe way—and shape key conversations as they unfold.”