MSNBC rebrands Peacock streaming channel The Choice (though the new name isn’t all that different)

MSNBC has rebranded its The Choice streaming channel on Comcast’s Peacock streaming platform.

The new name isn’t hard to remember; the feed will now be named The Choice by MSNBC and the network rolled out updated logos across the Peacock interface July 15, 2021, the same date the new name became effective.

The logo retains the narrow, sans serif typeface NBC used extensively throughout its election look as well as the checkmark

The Choice has been using since launch. The updated MSNBC logo is placed at the bottom, moving the other words and check up slightly. The far right ascender of the “M” nicely aligned with the vertical right side of the box in the lockup.

The Choice flickered to life in the fall of 2020 as a test ground of sorts for MSNBC’s entry into offering its own streaming content and was designed around the election, hence the name, which happens to be a synonym of NBC News’ “Decision” election branding (it’s also similar to CNN’s “America’s Choice” election branding).

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NBC News already offers NBC News Now, a permanent channel on Peacock that offers a combination of live, regularly scheduled newscasts, breaking news coverage and repeats of NBC News productions. 

Both this, The Choice and other offerings such as “Today All Day” and “Dateline 24/7” are among the multiple channels Peacock has added over the past months.

On Peacock, channels differ in that they take on a linear format — meaning viewers have to watch whatever happens to be streaming at the time, but the service also comes backed with thousands of film and TV titles on demand, including NBC News shows.

The rebranding comes the same day as The Choice will launch “MSNBC Perspectives” and a newly published report that the network has several other shows in various stages of development, including at least one ready to debut in August 2021.

By tacking on “by MSNBC” to The Choice’s name, the network appears to be attempting to emphasize the channel’s connection to the cable network and is hardly the first company to attempt to use a naming schema like this.

More often than not, however, everyday consumers don’t catch on to names such as this. 

MSNBC could have taken this opportunity rename the channel completely, especially given that its name was picked during an election cycle and is a bit out of place now that there’s no obvious “choice” to be made.

Such a rebranding could have accomplished incorporating the MSNBC name into the new name in a way that viewers might actually use in everyday parlance.

That said, NBC may have ultimately decided it didn’t want to create the confusion that always comes with name changes, though given the channel is only a few months old and remains relatively under the radar, it’s fair to wonder if it has much brand awareness at this point. 

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