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Peacock: Pricing, content, and everything else you need to know
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. Disney started with Disney Plus, and now NBCUniversal (owned by Comcast) with its recently launched 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 link below to try it out right away.
What is Peacock?
Peacock is the 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 Girls5Eva and reboots of classics like Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell.
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 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 mobile downloads. 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.
Where is Peacock available?
Peacock is currently only available in the United States. Some of its original content has been licensed by broadcasters in Canada. Sometime in the fourth quarter of 2021, the service is expected to launch in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom via a partnership between Sky and Comcast. In 2022 Comcast and ViacomCBS plan to launch a service called SkyShowtime in 20 smaller European countries. It will include original content from Peacock.
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 their 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 8 PM and 9 PM 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
You can get the 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. 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, Samsung smart TVs, and some set-top boxes. It was also later made available on PlayStation 4 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 made an agreement in late 2020 that added Peacock to Roku devices. In the summer of 2021, Amazon Fire TV devices and TVs got their own Peacock app..
Profile and parental control support
Peacock recently, and thankfully, added support for separate profiles on one account. You can have up to six profiles per account, which means that you and up to five family or friends can share an account. Each person can then create their own custom lineup of movies and TV shows to watch under their profile.
To add a new profile to a Peacock account here’s what you can do:
- Click on your account icon. It’s on the web on the top right side of the page, and also on mobile devices
- Click on the “Plus” icon 0n the Accounts page to add a new profile.
- You can select from one of a limited number of avatars, all from NBCUNniversal’s franchises, to be part of the new profile.
- You will be asked if this is a Kids Profile. If it is not, click or tap on “No”.
- Name the new profile and you’re done.
If you are the actual account holder, you will be asked to add in extra info such as your date of birth and your zip code.
Kids profile and parental controls
One or more of the six profiles on your Peacock account can be designated as a Kids Profile. Content viewed under that profile will be rated below PG-13. The procedure to make a Kids Profile is the same as the regular one, except that when you are asked if this is a Kids Profile, you click or type in “Yes.”
You can also set up a PIN for that profile in the Accounts section. This will not only keep kids from switching between profiles, but you can also go even further in limiting your children’s access to Peacock content. You have content rating choices of TVY (everyone) TVY7, TVY7-FV, TVG, and G (limited to children ages 7 and above) TVPG and PG (limited to children ages 10 and above), TV14 and PG13 (limited to teenagers and above) and TVMA, R, NR, and NC17 (limited to adults).
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 became a Peacock exclusive starting January 1, 2021. You can watch the first five seasons of that show for free.
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
- 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
- Modern Family
- 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:
- The Back To The Future Trilogy
- Halloween Kills
- The Lethal Weapon movies
- The Harry Potter movies
- Trolls World Tour
Read more: Best movies on Peacock
Peacock to offer faster access to Universal films in 2022
In July 2021, Universal released The Boss Baby 2 in theaters, and also for paid subscribers to Peacock on the same day. It did the same in October with the hit horror film sequel Halloween Kills. However, that’s just the start. Beginning in 2022, Universal will debut all of its new theatrical films on Peacock just four months after they are released in theaters. In the past, it took theatrical movies over twice as long to reach streaming and pay cable services.
Peacock subscribers will be streaming films like Jurassic Park: Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Halloween Ends, Nope (the next film from horror movie master Jordan Peele), and many more. Those movies will be available for four months on Peacock, before they move to other streaming services for 10 months, and will be back on Peacock for another four-month stretch.
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.
Read more: Best original series on Peacock
The launch lineup of Peacock Originals was fairly limited, but that list has grown and there are a few acclaimed TV series you can stream only on the service. Here are just some of the original shows you can check out.
- Saved By The Bell — The teen comedy series now has a reboot, featuring original cast members Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez.
- 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.
- 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. Another Psych movie is in the works.
- Where’s Waldo — This animated series is based on the 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 and fourth season exclusively on Peacock.
- Noughts + Crosses – This is a UK import series. It takes place on an alternate present-day Earth, where an African empire took over the UK and most of Europe.
- 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.
- Rutherford Falls — A comedy co-created by The Good Place creator Mike Schuur, starring Ed Helms.
- Dr. Death — A drama based on the popular true-crime podcast about a doctor who either killed or maimed many of his patients. It stars 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 plays its lead character Dawn.
- Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol – An adaptation of the best-selling mystery-thriller novel, featuring a younger version of Brown’s most famous character Robert Langdon.
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.
- John Wayne Gacy: Devil In Disguise – A documentary on the notorious serial killer.
Upcoming Peacock Originals and reboots
The current list of Peacock Originals is getting better. That list will grow with its upcoming shows. NBCUniversal has the rights to bring back and reimagine hit series from the past like Fresh Prince and Battlestar Galactica.
Here’s a list of what to expect from 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.
- 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.
- Straight Talk — A comedy co-created by Rashida Jones and Jada Pinkett Smith.
- The Real Housewives of Miami — This entry in the hugely popular Housewives reality show series is being revived as an exclusive original for the service.
- 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. Peacock was the streaming home of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan (held in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic), and it is planning to cover the 2022 Winter Olympics as well in February.
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.
On March 18, 2021, Peacock became the new home for the WWE Network’s content in the US. The pro wrestling league now has over 17,000 hours of content on Peacock and will stream new shows, including all future PPV events, on Peacock for the next five years.
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.
Q: When will the Office come to Peacock?
A: The Office began 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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