NBCUniversal today announced when its Peacock streaming video service will begin, and how much the service will cost. Subscribers to Comcast's Xfinity X1 cable service and Flex streaming dashboard will have first crack at using Peacock on April 15th. Others will have to wait until July 15th during the Summer Olympics to start streaming from the service.
Peacock will be available over the web and on mobile, and connected-TV devices. There will be two different services, Peacock Free and Peacock Premium. The former is a free tier of service with 7,500 hours of content supported by ads. This content will include next-day access to "freshman broadcast series, complete classic series, popular movies, curated daily news and sports programming including the Olympics, Spanish-language content, select episodes of marquee Peacock originals and tent-pole series, as well as curated Peacock streaming genre channels such as "SNL Vault," "Family Movie Night" and "Olympic Profiles."
NBCUniversal reportedly paid $500 million for five years of exclusive streaming rights to The Office
The other level of service, Peacock Premium, will be bundled free for 24 million subscribers belonging to Comcast and Cox. Also ad-supported, the service will "include full season Peacock originals and tent-pole series, next-day access to current seasons of returning broadcast series, early access to late-night talk shows, and additional sports – such as the Premier League. Overall, this tier of service offers over 15,000 hours of streaming content.
Those poor unfortunate souls (watching too much Disney+ perhaps) without Comcast or Cox will be able to pay $4.99 a month to view the Premium service over connected mobile devices and on the web. NBCUniversal does say that they are in talks to bundle Peacock Premium with more partners in the coming months. Premium subscribers can also pay $5.00 a month for an ad-free experience while any non-Comcast or Cox subscribing consumer can pay $9.99 per month for the Premium ad-free service.
Peacock has already shelled out a ton of NBCUniversal's cash for exclusive rights to some popular shows. For example, the company reportedly paid $500 million for a five-year exclusive run for The Office starting in 2021. Other shows that Peacock Premium viewers will get to stream include Parks and Recreation, Frasier, House, the original Law & Order, and Cheers. The service will also offer reboots of classic NBC shows such as Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster.
The announcement made by NBCUniversal today gives us a good idea of what else to expect in the way of content. Shows like This is Us, Superstore, and Law and Order: SVU will be available on Peacock the day after their first-run broadcasts. Late night programming like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers can be viewed on the service hours before they are broadcast on television. News junkies can follow the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections and catch up with the day's events via NBC News, Sky News, MSNBC, and CNBC. Besides the 2020 Summer Olympics, Peacock will show 2,000 hours of Premier League soccer including 140 live matches. The Ryder Cup will also be streamed for Golf enthusiasts.
Besides original films and programming, Peacock will offer 600 movies during its first year after launch. The list includes popular titles such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, The Fast and the Furious, Shrek, Meet the Parents, The Mummy and more.
Talking about Peacock, Steve Burke, Chairman of NBCUniversal, said, "We have one of the most enviable collections of media brands and the strongest ad sales track record in the business. Capitalizing on these key strengths, we are taking a unique approach to streaming that brings value to customers, advertisers and shareholders." The company expects to have 30-35 million active subscribers by 2024.
The name of NBCUniversal's streaming service comes from NBC's iconic peacock logo that it debuted in 1956. The network was owned by RCA at the time and the thought was that the latter would sell more color television sets by showing bright colors before each NBC show.