NBCU lands streamer Peacock into a crowded US landscape

Brave New World

NBCUniversal’s (NBCU) fledgling streamer Peacock landed into a crowded US streaming market today, leaning on a free-to-view tier featuring over 13,000 hours of programming.

The AVOD and SVOD service was initially rolled out to select users in the US in April, with senior execs admitting that Covid-19 had had a “significant” impact on its launch slate.

Matt Strauss, chairman of Peacock, had previously spoken of this year being “a runway” to the streamer’s plans for 2021 – after plans to launch in tandem with the Olympics in Japan were dashed when the event was delayed – but that has not stopped Comcast-backed NBCU from launching the service with tens of thousands of content.

Free, premium AVOD & SVOD

The free tier will include new episodes of NBC current season series one week after they air, including This Is Us and The Blacklist, sample episodes of Peacock originals and a large number of library titles.

Peacock will also offer a ‘premium’ service, with two options – with advertising for $4.99, and ad-free for $9.99. It will offer more than 20,000 hours of content drawn from networks and studios including NBC, Bravo, USA Network, Syfy, Oxygen and E!.

Programming will also feature from other US broadcast networks such as ABC, CBS, The CW and Fox, as well as shows from History, Nickelodeon, Showtime, Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, ViacomCBS, Paramount, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. and Blumhouse.

The premium offering will feature the free tier plus a full catalogue of originals such as Brave New World, Intelligence, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, DreamWorks Where’s Waldo?, DreamWorks Cleopatra In Space and Curious George.

Strauss has previously said the pandemic would “materially limit” NBCU’s slate for the rest of the year, adding that a “significant” number of originals were now set to debut in 2021, such as The Capture, Rutherford Falls and Girls5Eva. Shows including A.P. Bio, Departure, Five Bedrooms and Hitmen have also been lined up to debut in August and September.

The offering will also feature early access to new episodes of current season NBC shows such as America’s Got Talent as well as Telemundo series for Spanish-speaking viewers. The premium tier will also feature access to Peacock’s live sports offering.

Distribution deals

The service is currently available on Apple and Android devices as well as Microsoft’s Xbox One family, Vizio SmartCast TVs and LG smart TVs.

Eligible Comcast Xfinity X1 and Flex customers, and Cox Contour customers, will have access to the service at no extra cost, while access via Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro will be added on 20 July. Notable by their absence so far for the US market is Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

“This is a historic moment for our company as we proudly introduce Peacock to consumers nationwide,” Strauss said today, adding that the “groundbreaking vision” had been “brought to life by an incredible team of people from across Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky.”

“From current, classic and original movies and shows, to live news, sports, curated channels and trending content from around the world, Peacock is the only free, premium ad-supported streaming service that brings together everything consumers love about television and streaming, all in one place.”


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