The video streaming world has thus far been dominated by relative newcomers like Netflix and Hulu, but now traditional media giants have started to catch on. First was Disney with Disney Plus, and now NBCUniversal (owned by Comcast) with its new streaming service Peacock.
So what is Peacock and what does it bring to the table for customers? How does it stand up in the already crowded field of video streaming services and is it worth a subscription? Keep reading for everything you need to know about Peacock, or click the button below to try it out right away.
What is Peacock?
Peacock is the new premium video streaming service run by NBCUniversal. The Comcast-owned media company launched the service in mid-2020. It’s home to classic and recent shows from NBCUniversal’s various broadcast and cable networks, along with films from Universal Pictures, Dreamworks Animation, and Focus Features.
In addition, Peacock features a number of exclusive new TV shows and movies for the service. These include new shows like Brave New World (based on the classic novel by Aldous Huxley) and reboots of classics like Battlestar Galactica and Saved by the Bell.
Peacock is led by Matt Strauss, who previously was the head of Comcast’s Xfinity cable products. His master strategy to help the service compete with established giants like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video is a free tier with thousands of hours of content available to stream, albeit with ads.
As of October 2020, Peacock has about 22 million subscribers. NBCUniversal has not revealed how many of them are paying subscribers.
Why is it called Peacock?
Using the name Peacock as the label for the NBCUniversal streaming service is a nod to the early days of television. As the 1960s began, most TV shows were still broadcast in black and white. However, the NBC TV network was, at the time, owned by the electronics product maker RCA, and it wanted consumers to purchase its new color televisions.
To encourage this, Forward.com reports that RCA commissioned a new NBC logo that would play in front of its shows, showing a stylized peacock that showed off all of the primary and secondary colors in its “feathers.” The logo for the new Peacock streaming service still has the same colors featured in the old NBC logo as dots on the right side.
How does it work?
Peacock works just like other streaming services, although only in the United States. You just log into the platform or open the app on your phone, then select the content you want to watch.
The video files themselves are kept on a remote server and streamed directly to your device. There are no official details as to how much data is consumed while streaming, but based on other platforms you can expect to use around 3GB per hour of streaming in HD.
Is Peacock worth it?
It might sound strange to talk about whether or not Peacock is worth a subscription since there is a free version available for anyone to watch indefinitely. But in today’s age, there are so many streaming options available that the true cost is not just the subscription fee, but also your time.
Peacock offers some great programming, but in Android Authority‘s initial Peacock review, we decided that simply wasn’t enough. The official app is subject to frequent stutters and the lack of support for many devices that other services have supported for years is troubling.
The paid subscription doesn’t fare much better. Although there are a few interesting shows locked behind the paywall, as of now they simply aren’t enough to justify the monthly fee. Obviously, this can change in the near future as more content launches onto the service, but for now it doesn’t offer the same value as other services.
CNET was also critical of the service in its review, citing a lack of key features like profiles, mobile downloads, and device support. Even though the value is quite high (because it’s free), there just isn’t enough there to slot it into your daily streaming routine alongside Netflix and Hulu.
That said, the free version may have some sitcoms and drama series that you’ll enjoy, and there’s really no reason not to try it out yourself.. Click the button below to create an account (no credit card required) and get streaming.
Where is Peacock available?
Peacock is currently only available in the United States. NBCUniversal has not yet announced any plans to launch the service internationally, but some original content has been licensed by broadcasters in Canada.
We’ll update this article as soon as more information is available.
How much is Peacock?
As mentioned before, the base plan for Peacock is completely free. This ad-supported version gives access to more than 13,000 hours of programming, including both current series and a selection of popular movies. There are also curated daily news and sports programming, including the Olympics and some Spanish-language content.
While many classic TV series have the entire episode catalog available, most Peacock originals only have a few episodes on offer. To watch the full series you’ll need to upgrade to Peacock Premium.
Peacock Premium offers more than 20,000 hours of content, and starts at $4.99 a month. In addition to the full library of classic shows and movies as well as Peacock originals, subscribers also gain access to more sports coverage and next-day streaming of current broadcast series.
It’s also great for fans of late-night talk show programming since you can watch brand new episodes of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers before they air on television. They’re available to stream online from 8PM and 9PM ET, respectively.
It’s worth noting that the $4.99 plan still includes ads on most shows, but you can get an ad-free version for $9.99 a month. Here’s a quick breakdown of Peacock pricing:
- Peacock Free: Free
- Ad-supported streaming of classic shows and some popular movies.
- Peacock Premium: $4.99/mo or $49.99/year
- Access to the full library of 20,000 hours of content, with ads.
- Peacock Premium Ad-Free: $9.99/mo, or $99.99/year
- Access to the full library of 20,000 hours of content without ads.
How to get Peacock Premium for free
While Peacock Free can be streamed free of charge with no strings attached, there are a few ways to get Peacock Premium for free, as well. The first is a limited time offer for Android and Android TV users only. Just download the app and enjoy free access to the ad-supported Premium subscription until October 15.
You can also get ad-supported Peacock Premium for free if you’re a current Comcast Xfinity or Flex TV subscriber.
There’s also a seven-day free trial available for new subscribers, which is bumped up to three months if you subscribe on an Android device. Click the button below to download the app and start your free trial right away!
What devices does Peacock support?
Peacock is available on iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as Android TV devices, select smart TVs, and some set-top boxes. It was also later made available on PlayStation4 and Xbox One game consoles. The app is also capable of streaming to Chromecast dongles and Apple TV boxes.
At launch, there was no support for Roku or Amazon Fire TV devices, nor many other devices commonly found in consumer homes. However, NBCUniversal recently made an agreement that added Peacock to Roku devices. Unfortunately no similar agreement exists for Amazon Fire TV devices just yet.
What’s on Peacock?
There is a host of great content on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, including classic TV shows, movies, current TV series, and a few originals. The service boasts more than 13,000 hours of programming for the free subscription, and more than 20,000 hours for Premium subscribers.
What TV shows are on Peacock?
While it’s still a relatively recent show, one huge modern sitcom classic, Parks and Recreation, is now a Peacock exclusive. The same will soon happen for an even more popular sitcom, The Office, which will be a Peacock exclusive starting January 1, 2021.
Read More: The Office on Peacock
Peacock also has all 45 previous seasons of NBC’s late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live available to stream.
Fans of Spanish-language television will be happy to learn that popular shows from NBCUniversal’s Telemundo like 100 Dias Para Volver, Betty in NY, El Barón and Preso No. 1 can also be found on Peacock..
Here’s a quick list of some of the other great TV shows currently available to stream on Peacock:
- 30 Rock
- Bates Motel
- Battlestar Galactica
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- Chicago Fire
- Chicago P.D.
- Chicago Med
- Chrisley Knows Best
- Covert Affairs
- Downton Abbey
- Everyone Loves Raymond
- Friday Night Lights
- The George Lopez Show
- Keeping Up with the Kardashians
- King Of Queens
- Law and Order
- Law and Order: SVU
- Law and Order: Criminal Intent
- Married…With Children
- Mr. Mercedes
- Royal Pains
- Saturday Night Live
- The Real Housewives franchise
- Top Chef
- Two and a Half Men
- Will & Grace
What movies are on Peacock?
The service also includes a number of classic and more recent movies. Here’s just a sample of what’s currently available to stream:
- Lost in Translation
- The Sting
- Trolls World Tour
What about Peacock Originals?
Original content is the key ingredient to success for all streaming services, and Peacock is no different. They’re locked behind a premium subscription, but even free users can watch a few episodes to decide whether or not it’s worth the monthly fee.
The launch lineup of Peacock Originals is fairly limited, but it does include a handful of great shows like Brave New World, The Capture, and Intelligence. Here’s a brief list of original shows you can only watch on Peacock:
- Brave New World — A series based on the classic sci-fi novel from Aldous Huxley starring Alden Ehrenreich and Demi Moore.
- Saved By The Bell — The teen comedy series now has a reboot, featuring original cast members Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez.
- The Capture — A crime drama from the UK about a soldier who gets accused of a murder.
- Cleopatra in Space — An animated series about the previously untold teenage stories of the great Egyptian leader Cleopatra.
- Curious George — An animated series based on the classic children’s books about a curious monkey named George. You can also watch the feature film Curious George: Go West Go Wild.
- Five Bedrooms — This is an Australian import comedy series. It focuses on five people who meet at a wedding and decide to buy a house and live in it together.
- Hitmen — Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, the hosts of the popular reality series The Great British Bake Off, play best friends who also happen to be paid hitmen.
- Intelligence — A UK comedy import starring Friends’ David Schwimmer as an NSA agent who is the US liaison to the UK cyber crimes unit.
- Psych 2: Lassie Come Home — The second TV movie based on the classic comedy-mystery series about a man who pretends to be a psychic to help solve crimes.
- Where’s Waldo — Another animated series, once again based on classic children’s books about finding a man named Waldo.
- A.P. Bio – This school-based sitcom, which ran for two seasons on NBC, has returned for a third season exclusively on Peacock.
- Noughts + Crosses – This is a UK import series. It takes place in on an alternate present-day Earth, where an African empire took over the UK and most of Europe.
- Anthony – Anthony Walker was a real black teenager in Liverpool who was killed in 2005 by white racists. This movie imagines what Anthony’s life would have been liked had he lived.
- Departure — This series stars Christopher Plummer, as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of a passenger plane.
- Code 404 – Yep, it’s another UK import. This is a comedy about a cop who is shot and dies, but is revived with the help of computers.
Peacock original documentaries
The service also has a number of original documentaries
- In Deep With Ryan Lochte — A reality series about the former US Olympic swimmer who is trying to get back on the Olympic team.
- Lost Speedways With Dale Earnhardt Jr. — The former NASCAR racer is the host of this series that looks at forgotten and abandoned speedways.
- The Sit-In – A look back at The Tonight Show during one week in 1968 when singer Harry Belafonte became the first black man to host the light night talk show.
- Black Boys – A revealing look at growing up young, male, and black in America.
- Kamone – Two towns, Rikuzentakata and Crescent City, are separated by 10,000 miles. Yet both are linked by a common thread.
- The Defiant Ones – The story of how Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine founded the Beats headphone company.
- True Colors – This series profiles successful Hispanics who live in the US.
- Freedia Got A Gun – New Orleans legendary artist Big Freedia tries to raise awareness of gun violence after her brother is shot and killed.
Upcoming Peacock Originals and reboots
The current list of Peacock Originals might not look too impressive, but the list of upcoming series and reboots certainly is. NBCUniversal has the rights to bring back and reimagine hit series from the past like Battlestar Galactica and Saved by the Bell.
Here’s a list of what to expect on the service in the near future:
- Angelyne — A limited series starring Emmy Rossum based on the true story of the woman featured on a long-standing billboard in Hollywood.
- Armas de Mujer — A new Spanish-language dramedy series from the makers of La Reina del Sur.
- Battlestar Galactica — The second reboot of the 1978 space-based sci-fi TV show will be headed by Sam Esmail, who created the acclaimed TV series Mr. Robot.
- Dr. Death — A drama based on the popular true-crime podcast. It will star Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin, and Christian Slater.
- Girls5Eva — Produced by Tina Fey, this comedy is about a fictional 90s girl group that reunites for one more chance at glory. Sara Bareilles will play its lead character Dawn.
- MacGruber — This eight-episode sitcom, based on the Saturday Night Live sketches and the more recent movie, will be an exclusive for the service. Will Forte will return to play the role of the comedic crime fighter.
- One of Us is Lying — A series based on the best-selling young-adult mystery novel.
- Punky Brewster — Here’s another sequel-style reboot, this one featuring Soleil Moon Frye reprising her role as a grown-up version of her orphan kid character from the original sitcom.
- Rutherford Falls — A comedy co-created by The Good Place creator Mike Schuur, starring Ed Helms.
- Straight Talk — A comedy co-created by Rashida Jones and Jada Pinkett Smith.
- Untitled Real Housewives show — Another version of the popular reality show franchise will be streamed as an exclusive original for the service.
- Who Wrote That — A docuseries centering on the cast and crew of the NBC variety series Saturday Night Live.
- Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – A drama-based reboot of the classic sitcom. It has already received a two-season order.
Live programming, news, talk, and sports
In addition to TV shows and movies, there is a solid lineup of sports content on Peacock as well. Since NBC is the home of the 2021 Summer Olympics in Japan, Peacock will be ready with tons of coverage:
- Live coverage of both the Opening and Closing ceremonies from Tokyo before they are shown on NBC.
- Three exclusive shows:
- Tokyo Live, with live coverage of a major Olympic event.
- Tokyo Daily Digest, with mid-day highlights.
- Tokyo Tonight, which will complement NBC’s nightly shows.
- The Tokyo Paralympics will also be shown on Peacock with over 1,000 hours of content.
Soccer fans can also look forward to watching over 2,000 hours of Premier League games, including many games that are not shown on regular TV. The service will include live streaming of other sporting events, including PGA golf tournaments. It’s also the home for several live sports talk shows, including The Rich Eisen Show, The Dan Patrick Show, and PFT Live With Mike Florio.
As for news, NBC News shows like NBC Nightly News, the Today Show, and Meet the Press can be watched on Peacock. You can also stream shows from the MSNBC cable news channel, as well as the NBC News Now service for up-to-the-minute news.
Peacock is also the exclusive home to The Amber Ruffin Show. Ruffin, a writer, and performer on Late Night With Seth Myers, is the host of this show. She offers her thoughts on the week’s news through comedy, sketches, and more.
Q: How many concurrent streams does Peacock support?
A: It supports three concurrent streams at once on one account.
Q: Does Peacock support 4K streaming?
A: No. At launch, the service is limited to HD, but there are hints that 4K may be added in the future
Q: Can I download media from Peacock?
A: No. For now, there is no support for offline viewing or downloads. However, downloads on mobile are listed as an upcoming feature for the most expensive premium plan.
Q: Does Peacock have ads?
A: Yes, all Peacock plans have ads. The most expensive $9.99/mo plan eliminates all but a few ads on live content.
Q: How many ads does it play?
A: Expect around 5 minutes of ads per hour of streaming, which is similar to normal broadcast television.
Q: Can I share my Peacock account with friends and family?
A: The service supports up to three streams, so it can be shared with family members. However, there are no profiles, so your viewing history will be mixed together.
Q: When will the Office come to Peacock?
A: The office will begin streaming on the service in January 2021.
Q: Will there be a reboot of the Office on Peacock?
A: It’s possible, but it will not likely star Steve Carell, as he has stated multiple times that he is not interested in revisiting his character Michael Scott.
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