Peacock confirms free ad-supported option
January 17, 2020
By Nik Roseveare
Comcast’s NBCUniversal has confirmed details for its Peacock streaming service – due to launch in the US with early bird access on April 15th. As forecast it will offer various subscription tiers for its 600 movies and 400 TV series, as well as live and on-demand content across news, sports, late night, and reality.
Taking a different strategic approach to other streamers, the company announced:
- Peacock Free: This free, ad-supported option will provide fans everywhere with more than 7,500 hours of programming. Peacock Free includes next day access to current seasons of 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’.
- Peacock Premium: Bundled at no additional cost to 24 million Comcast and Cox subscribers, this ad-supported option will additionally 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 Premier League football – totaling more than 15,000 hours of content. Also available for $4.99 (€4.5) per month on all popular connected mobile and web devices for non-bundled customers.
The company expects to bundle Peacock Premium with additional partners in the coming months.
Premium customers can upgrade to an ad-free experience for an additional $5 per month, or any customer can purchase the ad-free experience directly for $9.99 per month.
“This is a very exciting time for our company, as we chart the future of entertainment,” said Steve Burke, Chairman of NBCUniversal. “We have one of the most enviable collections of media brands and the strongest ad sales track record in the business. Capitalising on these key strengths, we are taking a unique approach to streaming that brings value to customers, advertisers and shareholders.”
“Peacock will provide consumers with a destination that goes beyond movies and television, aggregating a variety of content that fans want on one service,” addded Matt Strauss, Chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. “By delivering timely and topical content like breaking news, live sports, and watercooler moments from late night, Peacock is uniquely bringing a pulse to the world of streaming that does not exist in today’s marketplace.”
Pricing and launch dates
Xfinity X1 and Flex customers will have early bird access to Peacock Premium starting April 15th. And beginning July 15th, taking full advantage of the massive promotional opportunity of the Tokyo Olympics, Peacock Free and Peacock Premium will be available nationally on popular web, mobile and connected-TV devices. The company expects to reach 30-35 million active accounts by 2024.
Peacock will stream the ratings juggernaut brands from Dick Wolf’s Wolf Entertainment, including Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med. These dramas are consistently among the top-rated shows on television and among the most-streamed shows across platforms.
Peacock will also stream Paramount Network hit series Yellowstone,the record-breaking drama, licensed from ViacomCBS. Yellowstoneis co-created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, and is co-produced by David Glasser’s 101 Studios. Additionally, Two and a Half Men, and The George Lopez Show from Warner Brothers were announced.
As previously announced, Peacock will offer some of the most popular NBC and classic TV series of all time, including 30 Rock, Bates Motel, Battlestar Galactica, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Chrisley Knows Best, Covert Affairs, Downton Abbey, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Friday Night Lights, House, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, King of Queens, Married…With Children, Monk, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Parenthood, Psych, Royal Pains, Saturday Night Live, Superstore, and Will & Grace.
Peacock has signed a multi-year partnership with Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud network, which includes an equity investment in the company, a first look deal with LOL, and the distribution of LOL’s catalogue on the service. As part of the agreement, Laugh Out Loud will produce a Hart stand-up comedy special and an original interview series called Hart to Heart, and a series of short-form content exclusively for Peacock.
Additional newly announced Peacock originals include Tina Fey-produced original series Girls5Eva,about aone-hit-wonder girl group from the 90’s that reunites to give their pop star dreams one more shot; international series from NBCUniversal International Studios, including drama thriller The Capture, fresh off its rating success on the BBC in the UK, and comedy LadyParts, launching on Channel 4 in the U.K., as well as three highly anticipated new comedies fromSky Studios: Intelligence starring David Schwimmer, Code 404,and Hitmen; a racing series from Dale Earnhardt Jr.; and a behind-the-scenes documentary series that follows USA Basketball superstars on their journey to Tokyo, produced in partnership with the NBA.
Noteworthy original series in development for Peacock include: Expecting,from Mindy Kaling, Division One,from Amy Poehler, Clean Slate, from Norman Lear and MacGruber, from Will Forte.
Previously announced Peacock scripted originals include comedies such as Rutherford Falls, Saved by the Bell,A.P. Bio, Punky Brewster, and the movie spinoff Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, as well as dramas Dr. Death, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Angelyne, and Armas de Mujer.
For the first time ever, fans will get exclusive early access to NBC’s acclaimed late night shows. Starting in July on Peacock Premium, NBC’s late night talk shows will be streaming on Peacock beginning at 8 p.m. ET with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, followed by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 9 p.m. ET.
Peacock will have the exclusive streaming rights for the 2020 Universal film slate and beyond in the network window. Films will include some of the biggest live action feature films of all time, including Fast & Furious 9 and Jurassic World 3. This is in addition to the previously announced premium original films and animated series in development for Peacock from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, and hundreds of critically-acclaimed films and box-office hits.
Peacock will have access to the first pay window for DreamWorks Animation films Trolls World Tour, The Boss Baby 2, andThe Croods 2.
Peacock will also be the exclusive streaming home to new episodes of Curious George, one of the most beloved children’s titles in the history of animation.
New original series from DreamWorks Animation will also stream on Peacock, including TrollsTopia, Madagascar: A Little Wild and Where’s Waldo? and Cleopatra in Space.
Additionally, popular family film titles from DreamWorks, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Kids will be available on Peacock including Shrek, Shark Tale, and Despicable Me.
Finally, unique among the major streaming services, Peacock will be home to live breaking news coverage – just as all eyes turn to the highly anticipated 2020 presidential election.
Beginning in August 2020, soccer fans will be treated to 2,000 hours of Premier League coverage, including more than 140 matches that aren’t available on television, as well as clips and replays of the best moments from the pitch. The Ryder Cup golf tournament will be coming to the service in September 2020 with featured groups of Europe’s and America’s best pairings.
Peacock will also give viewers a front-row seat for the most-watched event of 2020, the Tokyo Olympics. Peacock will feature live coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies before they air on NBC in primetime, and three daily Olympic shows. Peacock will also live stream more than 1,000 hours of exclusive coverage from the Tokyo Paralympics.