NBC's Peacock service debuts on July 15, subscriptions range from free to $10 a month
NBC will enter an increasingly crowded streaming market this July with Peacock, a subscription service that combines popular NBCUniversal shows with a handful of key properties licensed from other Hollywood players.
Comcast and NBCUniversal laid out pricing and availability details for Peacock on Thursday, saying the service will launch on April 15 for Comcast's Xfinity TV and broadband-only customers prior to a wide rollout in the U.S. on July 15. Customers will access the service through one of three subscription tiers: a free tier with limited content called Peacock Free; an ad-supported Peacock Premium tier with access to all content for $5 a month (free for Comcast Xfinity TV and broadband subscribers, as well as select Cox Communications customers); and an ad-free Peacock Premium tier priced at $10 a month.
As reported by Variety, Peacock Free customers gain access to about 7,500 hours of content including next-day streaming of select broadcast TV series, full seasons of older series, movies, daily news and sports including the Olympics, select episodes of Peacock originals, and limited specials like "SNL Vault," "Family Movie Night" and "Olympic Profiles." Peacock Premium ups the ante with 15,000 hours of live and on-demand content including live sports and pre-air access to late-night shows.
In all, the service boasts more than 600 movies and 400 series from a wide swath of genres.
"This is a very exciting time for our company, as we chart the future of entertainment," said NBCU chairman Steve Burke. "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."
Like competitor Disney, NBC is enticing prospective users with exclusives from its vast collection of properties, including "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation." Other shows, like "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," will remain available on alternative streaming platforms including Hulu, which was home to NBCU content prior to its takeover by Disney in 2019. Hulu is expected to retain a number of series, but will likely lose rights to next-day streaming of popular weekly shows.
A deep content library and relatively low barrier of entry — $5 a month with ads is less than half the price of Netflix and Disney+ with ESPN, but the same price as Apple TV+ — make Peacock an attractive option for cord cutters looking to jump from cable packages to direct streaming services. Still, with seemingly every major content owner stepping into the streaming arena, customers will inevitably be forced to choose a core group of services. How the competition will shake out remains to be seen.