Monday, February 10, 2020

NBC Unveils Peacock

Comcast-owned NBCUniversal presented Thursday the details of its long-anticipated streaming play. It’ll roll out first to Comcast cable and internet subscribers (on April 15) and then go national around the time of the Olympics (July 15).

In terms of price and access, Peacock is taking a multi-tiered approach. The options are:

• The basic, ad-supported service — called Peacock Free — will have more than 7,500 hours of programming, including full seasons of vintage shows, lots of news and sports (including the Olympics), curated live channels devoted to things like old SNL eps and family film; and Spanish-language programs. There’ll be some next-day reruns of NBC shows (but only first-year series) and select eps of Peacock Originals like the new Saved by the Bell follow-up. Anyone with internet can get it for free.

• The next level of Peacock — Peacock Premium — will be the full service. It’ll have everything the free version does, but it’ll also add in next-day reruns of almost all NBC broadcast series (similar to Hulu), early access to the late-night shows (more on that later), and a lot more sports, including Premier League Soccer. Premium will stream about 15,000 hours of content. The cost: If you’ve got Comcast or Cox cable bundles, it’s free (with ads). If you don’t, it’s $5 per month, and still with ads. NBCU and Comcast will be talking to other cable and satellite companies about offering Peacock Premium to bundled customers, so it’s possible that by July, many more people will have access. As it stands now, Peacock Premium will be in 24 million homes at launch.

NBC’s two big late-night shows will now premiere first on Peacock, hours before airing on NBC (more on that later).

Comcast has a huge national footprint, and its X1/Xfinity platforms are best in class in terms of cable offerings, suggesting Peacock’s tech should be solid. There’s nothing announced here that’s going to keep Netflix execs up at night, but for now, Peacock seems like a solid first step into the streaming future for NBC.



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