- Peacock is the new streaming service from NBCUniversal, featuring NBC shows and sports programming as well as Universal movies.
- Peacock is similar to HBO Max, Disney Plus, and CBS All Access, with shows, movies, and even original programming under one corporate umbrella.
- Peacock launches July 15, 2020, with a free plan that includes some of its content, a $4.99 per month (or $49.99 per year) Peacock Premium plan, and a Premium Ad-Free option for $9.99 per month (or $99.99 per year)—though that comes with a big asterisk.
- There’s a seven-day free trial available for new users.
Here’s everything you need to know about Peacock before you sign up.
- How much is Peacock?
- What’s on Peacock?
- Peacock Originals
- Peacock streaming devices
- Peacock downloads and multiple screens
- Peacock vs. The Competition
- Is Peacock worth it?
- How to sign up for Peacock
How much does Peacock cost?
Depending on the kind of experience you want, there are three tiers of Peacock buy-in.
There’s a free tier that, according to the site, “will include movies, classic and current shows, channels available only on Peacock, kids shows and movies, news, and more.” It includes next-day access to current shows airing on NBC and affiliated channels—all in all, the free tier will offer about 7500 hours of content.
If you want to access everything Peacock offers, estimated to be about 15,000 hours of content, it’ll cost you. Specifically, it’s $4.99 per month or $49.99 for the yearly Peacock Premium plan.
Then, there’s a $5 per month or $50 annual ad-free option on top of that, making it $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
There’s another catch, too—the Peacock “without ads” option isn’t entirely without ads. As the fine print on the website notes, “Due to streaming rights, Peacock channels, events, and a few shows and movies will still contain ads.” While the difference between the two options isn’t priced much differently than Hulu, it’s yet to be seen how much ads will intrude on a version of the service that’s supposed to eliminate ads.
What’s on Peacock?
Right now, the website’s teasing some of the series that will appear, which includes the likes of 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live, King of Queens, House, and Yellowstone—in other words, a mix of past successes and current shows.
According to the Daily Dot’s June preview, the list of shows available on Peacock also includes: A.P. Bio, Bates Motel, Battlestar Galactica, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Chrisley Knows Best, Covert Affairs, Downton Abbey, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Friday Night Lights, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, King of Queens, Married… With Children, Monk, Parenthood, Psych, Royal Pains, Superstore, The Real Housewives, Top Chef, and Will & Grace.
One NBC favorite won’t make it to Peacock right away. As Peacock’s Twitter account alluded to back in January, The Office is tied up in licensing to Netflix through the end of 2020, but Jim, Pam, Michael, and Dwight should be pushing paper on Peacock by January 2021.
It’s also touting Universal movies like the Fast & Furious series, Reservoir Dogs, and King Kong. Other movies announced for Peacock include: American Pie, Back to the Future, A Beautiful Mind, the Bourne franchise, Bridesmaids, Brokeback Mountain, Casino, Dallas Buyers Club, Do the Right Thing, Erin Brockovich, E.T., Field of Dreams, Jaws, Knocked Up, Mamma Mia!, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, Shrek, and The Breakfast Club.
NBC’s also touting two of its biggest sports entities—England’s globally-adored Premier League and the pushed-to-2021 Summer Olympic Games—on Peacock. Currently, NBC’s split its Premier League soccer coverage between NBCSN, NBC, and NBC Sports Gold. Since the delayed season won’t yet be concluded by the time Peacock launches, the new service could conceivably be utilized for the final day free-for-all when all 20 teams play simultaneously. (Typically, NBCUniversal has utilized properties like Bravo, CNBC, and SyFy to get all 10 matches on for viewers.)
Peacock did announce on its opening day that its Premier League coverage for the upcoming season, likely to start in September, will be carried by Peacock Premium rather than NBC Sports Gold.
There are also documentaries from the Gold Channel and on the Olympics on the Peacock platform—perhaps an indication of where other NBC Sports Gold coverage will migrate.
While there are still release dates to be announced for some of the titles, here are the highlights of what we know coming out of the gate:
- Brave New World, a sci-fi series based on the classic Aldous Huxley novel, made its way from SyFy to USA Network to Peacock, and it’s ready to stream on Opening Day.
- Peacock also launched The Capture, a thriller exploring the world of deepfakes starring Holliday Grainger (which premiered on BBC One in 2019), and David Schwimmer-led comedy Intelligence (another British import, which debuted on Sky One).
- Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, a full-length movie starring James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson, and Maggie Lawson, debuted as a Peacock Original movie on Opening Day. It picks up where the USA Network series Psych left off.
- Girls5Eva will reunite executive producer Tina Fey with writer and co-executive producer Meredith Scardino (from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) for this promising comedy. According to Fey in a Deadline story from January, “It’s the story of a former ’90s girl group — all of whom have been engaged to Carson Daly — who decide to risk everything and get the band back together. In a way, that is what Peacock is doing — getting the band back together.”
- Battlestar Galactica is also set for another reboot, courtesy of Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail.
- MacGruber, with Will Forte in the title role as well as the show’s executive producer, is the full fleshing out of the recurring Saturday Night Live skit spoofing MacGyver.
- There’s also a double dose of ’80s and ’90s-era NBC nostalgia headed Peacock‘s way, in the form of a Saved By The Bell sequel (with some of the cast members from the original series set to return) and a Punky Brewster reboot with Soleil Moon Frye as a single mom.
|Take a first look at the new Peacock Originals|
Peacock streaming devices
Peacock is available through Apple TV and iOS devices, Google devices including Chromecast, XBox One, and LG and Vizio smart TVs. As with HBO Max, Peacock launches without Amazon Fire or Roku compatibility.
Peacock downloads and multiple screens
Peacock will have a Watchlist feature within the app (or browser screen) allowing users to bookmark shows they want to watch. While it’s not quite a download feature—offline viewing isn’t available on Peacock yet—it does allow users to flag shows and movies they want to get back to.
Each account has access to up to three screens simultaneously.
Peacock vs. The Competition
Peacock vs. CBS All Access
CBS All Access may be the most analogous service to Peacock on the market today: A network-driven streaming service bolstered by a parent company with additional media holdings. Part of the comparison breaks down to NBC’s core shows vs. CBS’s core shows—if you’re a fan of shows like 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation, you’re obviously going to find Peacock more appealing than if you gravitate toward CBS’s offerings.
One factor going for Peacock, though, is the free option for about half its content. CBS All Access doesn’t offer that currently—though perhaps Peacock will start a trend?
Peacock vs. Disney+
Disney+ is obviously geared largely toward children’s programming, but thanks to the Star Wars and Marvel holdings, there’s a broader appeal to Disney Plus. Disney Plus is an example of a streaming service that does it right, and on the whole, its movies are more generally beloved than what comes out of Universal’s stable (though, certainly, franchises like Fast & Furious have their devotees). A number of Disney+ subscribers do, furthermore, bundle with Hulu and ESPN Plus, and can access Peacock shows like Parks and Rec and 30 Rock on Hulu.
Peacock vs. Starz
Starz has a broad selection of movies and an intriguing collection of original programming, at a price point that rivals Peacock. There’s more consistent quality in NBC shows, however, though it remains to be seen how the Peacock Originals will stack up next to Starz’s mix. Peacock does, however, have the free tier with lots of content available.
Is Peacock worth it?
Though Peacock is still a few days away from launching, the free option and next-day accessibility to NBC shows makes it a welcome addition to the growing streaming universe. Seeing it in action in its paid tiers, though, will answer some lingering questions about the user experience. Two that come to mind: How ad-free will the ad-free version truly be, and how will the Peacock Originals compare to what HBO, Showtime, and even Starz are providing.
How to sign up for Peacock
First, go to the Peacock site and scroll down to the plan picking options. Here’s what you do once you click the link to one of two choices.
- Enter your new account info.
- If you chose the Premium option, you’ll be prompted to choose the ad-free version if you wish.
- Click the box indicating you agree to the terms.
- Once you’re taken to the next page, enter your payment info.
- Click the “Pay Now” button. (Note that unless you get into the “My Account” section to edit, the plan will automatically renew for the next 12-month period at the end of the current one.)
Premium Streaming Service Guides
|Amazon Prime||CrunchyRoll||Acorn TV|
|CBS All Access||Curiosity Stream||AMC Premiere|
|Disney Plus||DC Universe||BritBox|
|Netflix||Criterion Channel||YouTube Premium|
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