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What is Peacock? Pricing, content, availability, and more

You can watch lots of shows and movies for free, or pay to get even more content including exclusive series and films.
June 16, 2023
Peacock stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The video streaming world has thus far been dominated by relative newcomers like Netflix and Hulu, but traditional media giants have started to catch up. First was Disney with Disney Plus, then came Warner Bros. Discovery with HBO Max, now replaced by Max. The field also includes Apple TV Plus, Paramount Plus, and more. In 2020, NBCUniversal (owned by Comcast) joined the fray with its own streaming service Peacock, launching new shows and movies every week.

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.

Peacock logo large
NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service offers a lot of great movies and TV shows to stream on demand, along with live news and sports. Best of all, you can watch lots of its content for free, or watch all of it with a paid subscription starting at just $4.99 a month.

What is Peacock?

nbcuniversal logo

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 Bel-Air and reboots of classics like Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell, with more on the way.

As of September 2022, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell stated in a video interview with CNBC, that Peacock had about 30 million active users, and 15 million of them were paid users.

Why is it called Peacock?

nbc 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, 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. 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?

Peacock selection
Adam Birney / Android Authority

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.

In Android Authority‘s initial Peacock review, we decided the service simply wasn’t good enough yet. Things have gotten a lot better since then, and Peacock’s library of shows and movies is pretty robust, especially at the low-paid rate.

Between library titles like The Office, up-to-date new releases of shows like Yellowstone and Saturday Night Live, and some pretty solid original programming, it’s no mystery why Peacock is a fast-growing contender in the streaming space.

Where is Peacock available?

Peacock was originally launched just in the United States in 2020. In late 2021, the service launched in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom via a partnership between Sky and Comcast. In 2022 Comcast and ViacomCBS launched a service called SkyShowtime that includes original content from Peacock. It’s currently available in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Portugal. In 2023, SkyShowtime will expand to more markets in Europe. Peacock will also expand in 2023 to Australia, India, Latin America, Hong Kong, and other countries and territories.

We’ll update this article as soon as more information is available.

How much is Peacock?

Peacock pricing

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 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; you can also cancel Peacock anytime. 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 Plus (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. Charter Spectrum TV customers can get a year of Peacock Premium for free, or for three months if you just subscribe to its internet services. 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 devices

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 has made major upgrades to its offering since then, and you can now watch Peacock on Roku and Fire TV.

Below is a full list of compatible devices:

Web browsers

  • Chrome 75+ (Windows/Mac)
  • Firefox 88+ (Windows/Mac)
  • MS Edge 80+ (Windows/Mac)
  • Safari 12+ (Mac)
  • Mobile and Tablet Devices:
  • Android: 6.0 or above
  • iOS: 13 or above

Connected TVs and streaming devices

  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire Tablet (Fire OS 5 and above)
  • Android TV (Android OS 5.1 and above)
  • Apple TV HD (4th generation or above, with tvOS 13 or above)
  • Chromecast (1st generation or above, including Chromecast with Google TV)
  • Roku 2 (4210X model only)
  • Roku 3 & 4 (model 4200X or later)
  • Roku Streaming Stick (model 3600X or later)
  • Roku Express/Express+ (model 3900X or later)
  • Roku Premiere/Premiere+ (model 3920X or later)
  • Roku Ultra/Ultra LT (model 4640X or later)
  • Roku TV and Smart Soundbar (model 5000X or later)
  • Hisense VIDAA (2021 devices and newer)
  • LG Smart TV (LG WebOS 3.5 or above)
  • Samsung Smart TV (2017 or later)
  • Vizio TV (SmartCast 2.0 or 3.0, from 2016 and newer)

Gaming consoles

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation 5
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox Series X
  • Xbox Series S

Cable set-top boxes

  • Cox Contour Box with Voice Remote
  • Cox Contour Stream Player
  • Xfinity XG1v1 (Arris)
  • Xfinity XG1v3
  • Xfinity XG1v4
  • Xfinity XG2v2
  • Xfinity XiD
  • Xfinity Xi3
  • Xfinity Xi5
  • Xfinity Xi6
  • Xfinity Flex

Profile and parental control support

peacock profiles

Peacock thankfully has 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:

  1. Click on your account icon. It’s on the web on the top right side of the page, and also on mobile devices
  2. Click on the “Plus” icon 0n the Accounts page to add a new profile.
  3. You can select from one of a limited number of avatars, all from NBCUNniversal’s franchises, to be part of the new profile. 
  4. You will be asked if this is a Kids Profile. If it is not, click or tap on “No”.
  5. 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?

Poker Face

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?

The Office

While it’s still a relatively recent show, one huge modern sitcom classic, Parks and Recreation, is now a Peacock exclusive. The same is true of the even more popular sitcom The Office, which became a Peacock exclusive at the start of 2021. You can watch the first five seasons of that show for free.

In addition to The Office episodes, Peacock Premium subscribers have access to The Office “Superfan” episodes. These are extended episodes with new bonus scenes that didn’t make it into the episodes that originally aired on NBC. Superfan episodes are only available on Peacock with a Premium (paid) subscription.

Peacock also has all 47 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
  • Cheers
  • Chicago Fire
  • Chicago P.D.
  • Chicago Med
  • Covert Affairs
  • Downton Abbey
  • Everyone Loves Raymond
  • Frasier
  • Friday Night Lights
  • The George Lopez Show
  • House
  • 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
  • Monk
  • Parenthood
  • Psych
  • Royal Pains
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Superstore
  • The Real Housewives franchise
  • Top Chef
  • Two and a Half Men
  • Will & Grace
  • Yellowstone

What movies are on Peacock?

Jurassic World
Universal Pictures

The service also includes a number of classic and more recent movies. Here’s just a sample of what’s currently available to stream:

  • Jurassic World
  • Midway
  • Taken
  • The Back to the Future movies
  • The Harry Potter movies

Peacock offers faster access to Universal films

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 and again in February 2022 with the romantic comedy Marry Me, starring Jennifer Lopez.

However, that’s just the start. As of 2022, Universal will debut most of its new theatrical films on Peacock just 45 days after they are released in theaters. In the past, it took theatrical movies much longer to reach streaming and pay cable services.

Peacock subscribers can currently stream recent movies like The Black Phone, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Jurassic Park: Dominion, and Halloween Ends. Nope (the latest film from horror movie master Jordan Peele) was added in November. 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.

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.

  • Poker Face — A mystery-of-the-week whodunnit about a woman who can instinctively tell when people are lying, from Knives Out director Rian Johnson.
  • 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.
  • Where’s Waldo — This animated series is 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 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.
  • Mrs. Davis — A nun wages war on an all-powerful AI in this smart, funny, and bizarre exploration of faith and technology.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bel-Air — A drama-based reboot of the classic sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that premiered in early 2022. It has already been renewed for a second season.
  • A Friend of the Family — A true crime docudrama starring Colin Hanks and Jake Lacy.
  • The Resort — A comedy-drama about a married couple that gets involved in a cold case crime while on vacation.
  • Vampire Academy — A series based on popular young adult novels.
  • Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin — A spinoff of the popular Pitch Perfect movies.

You can also now watch the long-running soap opera Days of our Lives on Peacock, with new episodes released daily (Monday-Friday). One Peacock original, Girls5Eva, about a revival of a girls singing band, was canceled by Peacock after two seasons, but a third season will be shown in 2023 on rival Netflix.

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.
  • 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. 
  • The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rose Parks — This documentary looks at the life of the famous civil rights protestor and activist in the 1950s.

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. Fans of soccer can watch all of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament matches in Spanish. Soccer fans can also look forward to watching over 2,000 hours of Premier League games every year, including many games that are not shown on regular TV. The service also has live streaming of other sporting events, including PGA golf tournaments and Sunday Night Football games. It’s also the home for several live sports talk shows, including 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.

Next-day streaming of NBC and Bravo content

As of September 19, 2022, Peacock is the official streaming home of new NBC and Bravo content.

Any new programming on those channels will be available on Peacock to all peacock Premium users the day after it airs live.

This includes NBC series like Law & Order, La Brea, Quantum Leap, Saturday Night Live, and Bravo franchises like The Real Housewives, Top Chef, and Below Deck.

WWE content

wwe peacock

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.

Hallmark Channel content

hallmark peacock

As of November 2, Peacock Premium subscribers can access tons of content from the many Hallmark Channel networks. Subscribers can access live streams from the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama channels. Also, all of the networks’ original movies, including all of Hallmark’s 40 Chrismas films for 2022, will be available to stream on-demand via Peacock the day after they are shown on the cable networks. That also will include Hallmark’s current and upcoming TV shows like When Calls the Heart. Peacock will also have a ton of classic and recent Hallmark movies and shows to stream.

Other FAQ

It supports three concurrent streams at once on one account.

No. At launch, the service is limited to HD, but there are hints that 4K may be added in the future.

Yes, you can download the Peacock TV app on Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Yes. Premium Plus subscribers can download select titles for offline viewing.

Yes, all Peacock plans have ads. The most expensive $9.99/mo plan eliminates all but a few ads on live content.

Expect around five minutes of ads per hour of streaming, which is similar to normal broadcast television.

Yes. The paid Peacock Premium (not the ad-free Premium Plus) is included with all Xfinity internet subscriptions at no additional cost.

The service supports up to three streams, so it can be shared with family members. 

The Office began streaming on the service in January 2021.

You can watch seasons one to five of The Office with a free, ad-supported Peacock account.

No. Superfan episodes are only available to Peacock Premium subscribers.

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.

Yes. All eight Harry Potter films are streaming on Peacock. You need a Peacock Premium (paid) account to watch them.

Sort of. Xumo was purchased by Peacock’s parent company, Comcast, in 2021. It’s a free streaming service much like Crackle and Pluto TV. Xumo has a different catalogue than Peacock, although some titles overlap.

Wi-Fi issues, TV glitches, and other common streaming problems are usually to blame if you can’t stream something on Peacock. Read our guide to the most common Peacock problems to learn how to troubleshoot playback issues.

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