NBC’s Peacock streaming service is now available for Comcast customers – here’s what to know
With more people at home, this is a good time to launch.
Comcast’s NBCUniversal is about to let Peacock, its Netflix competitor, strut its way onto your screens. There’s never a good time to kick off a new streaming service in the crowded market, but then again we’re stuck at home so maybe it’s as good a time as any.
That said, with NBCUniversal heavily invested in original content and live events like the now-postponed Olympics, will it have enough content at launch to make people pay for yet another streaming service? It’s still got a huge vault of NBC shows and movies from years past though, so maybe there’s some nostalgia factor to help sway the decision.
When’s the launch date and how are the prices?
If you’re a Comcast Xfinity X1 cable or Flex streaming customer, you can access Peacock right now as it has launched today with a reduced lineup. It’s also free while in preview, with the launch for the rest of the U.S. set for July 15. International expansion will happen at some point after that, with NBC not specifying a timeline.
Pricing is slightly confusing. There’s going to be three tiers when it releases in July, a limited-watch one that’s free, a $5 tier with no restrictions but ads, and a $10 tier with no restrictions or ads.
The preview that Comcast customers are getting is really the ad-supported $5 tier for everyone else. They won’t have to pay for it at all, as a perk for getting their internet from Comcast. Customers can upgrade to the ad-free tier for $5 a month at peacocktv.com.
Oh, and that free tier for everyone else? Think of it as a teaser, with only some episodes of the new original content outside of the paywall. It’s still going to have movies, current TV, TV archives, daily news, sports, Hispanic content, and Peacock streaming channels.
Okay, again it’s kind of confusing here. The two Premium tiers will have 15,000+ hours of content and the ad-supported free tier will have around half of that. That’s eventual plans though, which have been slowed by the pandemic. Television productions are on halt globally, and the big hook, the 2020 Olympics in July, has been postponed to 2021.
The Comcast preview that’s going live today only has a few original shows, all kid-focused. Great for parents who are working from home, perhaps not so great for NBCUniversal’s attempt to grab the attention of the nation. Most of the planned original content won’t be around until next year, maybe even further out.
Some things are ready, like the sci-fi drama Brave New World, and the Psych 2 movie. Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell reboots are also far enough along that they should be on our screens this year. Oh, and The Office won’t be on the service until 2021, but that’s due to the existing licensing deal with Netflix, not to anything virus related.
NBC’s programming that currently airs on Hulu will stay for now, although there’s a chance NBC will yank its content off the competing service in about two years. That’s when the current agreement with Disney runs out, who now control Hulu completely.
Is it worth it?
Who knows at this time, but remakes of things like Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell are going to be hard to miss for anyone who grew up in the ’80s. NBCUniversal knows this, and I expect that more nostalgia-inducing remakes will get added to the lineup as time goes on.
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