Peacock is yet another streaming service jostling in a very crowded field for your subscription dollars. The streaming platform will be run by NBCUniversal. It derives its name from the stylized peacock logo used by NBC since 1956. Peacock will boast exclusive original shows, old favorites from the NBC archives, and feature films produced under the Universal banner. Will this peacock fly in an already overcrowded market?
Launch Date and Availability
As NBCUniversal is owned by the telecommunications conglomerate Comcast, the Peacock streaming service launched on April 15th for Xfinity cable subscribers. If you’re not a Comcast customer, you’ll have to wait until July 15th for the general public rollout. The Peacock streaming service will be available via its website, mobile apps and “popular connected-TV platforms,” although they’ve been mum on which platforms those might be.
Note: at the time of this writing, Peacock is only available to consumers in the United States. NBCUniversal has not announced any plans to make the Peacock streaming service available in other regions.
The Peacock streaming service has one free tier and two paid tiers. Peacock Free is an ad-supported service that will be available to anyone willing to sit through commercials. Peacock Premium requires you to fork over the credit card info. However, even if you opt for Peacock Premium, you’ll still have to decide how much of your hard earned cash you’re willing to part with in order to eliminate ads.
As mentioned above, Peacock Free users will have to sit through the occasional advertisement during their binge sessions. Furthermore, users of Peacock Free will have limited access to the full range of Peacock content. According to NBCUniversal, Peacock Free will have around 7,500 hours of programming available. This will include the complete runs of classic TV shows and a selection of movies, as well as some Spanish language content and sports programming. Additionally, Peacock Free will allow users to stream episodes of currently running shows the day after they air.
Alternatively, Peacock Premium gives subscribers approximately 15,000 hours of content. This includes all of the content available through Peacock Free, all of the platform’s original programming, and additional sports programming. Peacock Premium subscribers will also have perks like not having to stay up late to watch the late night shows. Peacock Premium gives subscribers access to new episodes of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and “The Late Show with Seth Meyers” at 8 and 9pm (Eastern).
When opting for Premium, subscribers will have to decide whether they want a viewing experience free from ads. Peacock Premium has both a cheaper, ad-supported tier, and a more expensive ad-free tier to give subscribers more flexibility. The ad-supported version of Peacock Premium will be $4.99/month. To get rid of ads completely, the monthly fee jumps to $9.99. Xfinity customers will have access to the ad-supported version of Peacock Premium for no additional cost.
Which TV Shows Will Be Available?
Peacock will be the streaming home of an extensive backlog of television programming. This includes everything from sketch comedy mainstay “Saturday Night Live” to police procedural like “Law & Order” and even reality guilty pleasures such as “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Furthermore, consumers will have access to the heavyweights of NBC’s “Must See TV” lineups of years past. This includes shows like “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation” and the American version of “The Office.”
That being said, not all of these shows will be available at launch. This is due to the fact that some of these shows are currently licensed to other streaming platforms. For example, “The Office,” which is currently the most popular show on any streaming platform, won’t be making it’s Peacock debut until January 2021, as Netflix currently has exclusive streaming rights.
Peacock will also be home to a wide variety of Spanish-language content sourced from the NBCUniversal-owned Telemundo, including popular telenovelas and series. Furthermore, A&E Networks has reportedly licensed some of their A&E and History channel libraries to Peacock. Finally, consumers can expect the latest local and international news coverage thanks to content from MSNBC, CNBC, TODAY, NBC Nightly News, and more. For a comprehensive list of shows that will be streaming at launch, check out NBCUniversal’s Press announcement.
Which Movies Will Be Available?
This is where the Universal side of NBCUniversal comes into play. NBCUniversal boasts that around 600 movies produced by Universal Pictures will be available on Peacock. This includes Spielberg-helmed classics like “Jurassic Park” and “E.T.,” as well as blockbusters like the “Fast and Furious” franchise. Consumers will also have access to a variety of Dreamworks titles, including kid-friendly titles like “Shrek.”
What Original Content Will Be Available?
If you opt for Peacock Premium, you’ll not only have access to all of the classic TV shows you know and love, but a slew of exclusive content as well. NBCUniversal is heavily investing in original content for the Peacock platform. This includes new originals like the Alec Baldwin-helmed “Dr. Death” and “Brave New World,” a show based on the Aldous Huxley book of the same name.
Peacock is also banking on the strength of viewer nostalgia. The streaming service will be home to reboots of “Saved by the Bell” and “Punky Brewster.” Furthermore, the sci-fi classic “Battlestar Galactica” is getting the reboot treatment, orchestrated by “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail. Additionally, Peacock is tapping some heavyweights in the world of comedy to develop new shows for the platform. Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey all have series in the works.
What Sports Programming Will Be Available?
NBCUniversal is also angling for sports aficionados with Peacock. In addition to exclusive TV shows, classic series and blockbusters films, Peacock will be the streaming home of NBC Sports content. This includes non-televised Premier League matches as well as extended coverage of the Ryder Cup. Granted, during these unprecedented times, the Sports arm of Peacock’s arsenal certainly won’t be firing on all cylinders. That being said, when sports resume business as usual, Peacock is going to be a big draw.
Peacock is one of a number of streaming services launching in 2020. this group includes the short form service Quibi. For users outside of United States, you will have to stick with either Netflix or Disney Plus or these free streaming sites to watch free movies.