NBC’s Peacock set for July 2020 launch
Staff Reporter | On 18, Jan 2020Reading time: 6 mins
NBC’s Peacock will officially launch this July in the US, with early access for Comcast Xfinity customers from April.
The NBCUniversal platform, which joins a wave of new streaming services, such as HBO Max and Disney+, will see NBC take back its own content rather than licence it out to platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Rather than try to take on the subscription giants, though, NBC will be adopting an ad-supported approach as well as pay-monthly options (as we predicted would become a trend in our 2020 forecast).
At a Comcast investor presentation held in the iconic Studio 8H of 30 Rock, NBCUniversal unveiled Peacock, a free premium ad-supported streaming service with subscription tiers offering more than 600 movies and 400 series, as well as compelling live and on-demand content across news, sports, late night, and reality. From world-class originals and treasured hits, to blockbuster films and streaming channels, Peacock will offer consumers everything fans love to watch, all in one place.
This tiered offering breaks down as follows:
This free, ad-supported option will provide fans with more than 7,500 hours of programming. Peacock Free includes next day access to current seasons of freshman broadcast series, complete classic series, popular movies, curated daily news and sports programming including the Olympics, Spanish-language content, select episodes of marquee Peacock originals and tent-pole series, as well as curated Peacock streaming genre channels such as “SNL Vault,” “Family Movie Night” and “Olympic Profiles.”
Bundled at no additional cost to 24 million Comcast and Cox subscribers, this ad-supported option will additionally include full season Peacock originals and tent-pole series, next day access to current seasons of returning broadcast series, early access to late night talk shows, and additional sports – such as the Premier League – totalling more than 15,000 hours of content. Also available for $4.99 per month.
Premium customers can upgrade to an ad-free experience for an additional $5.00 per month, or any customer can purchase the ad-free experience directly for $9.99 per month.
“This is a very exciting time for our company, as we chart the future of entertainment,” says Steve Burke, Chairman of NBCUniversal. “We have one of the most enviable collections of media brands and the strongest ad sales track record in the business. Capitalizing on these key strengths, we are taking a unique approach to streaming that brings value to customers, advertisers and shareholders.”
Content on the service will include reboots of Battlestar Galactica, Saved by the Bell, and Punky Brewster, as well as NBC series such as Cheers, The Office and Parks and Recreation, plus the newly announced MacGruber series, based on Will Forte’s character, a drama about the early days of Twitter, called Hatching Twitter, and an animated comedy based on the podcast-turned-graphic-novel The Adventure Zone, plus Tina Fey’s Girls5Eva. (Here’s the full rundown of Peacock’s content slate.)
With Comcast now the owners of Sky in the UK, and with Peacock based on the infrastructure used by Sky’s own streaming interfaces, it is likely that Peacock will not launch in the UK at all, with NBC content instead heading to Sky. Indeed, the David Schwimmer-fronted comedy Intelligence is already a Sky original that will also be on Peacock, while Sky Comedy will launch soon with Saturday Night Live a major jewel in its crown, another Peacock exclusive.
Watch this space for more information about UK availability as we get it.
Peacock: NBCUniversal streaming service to launch in 2020 with Battlestar series
18th September 2019
NBCUniversal has finally announced its plans for its new subscription streaming service, including its name and slate of original content.
Called Peacock, the SVOD platform will launch in 2020, with 15,000+ hours of content, both films and TV old and new. We have known for some time that NBC had plans for its own over-the-top service to rival Netflix, joining a new wave of VOD services that includes Disney+, Apple TV+ and Warner’s HBO Max. We have also known for some time that NBCUniversal will be reclaiming the US remake of The Office for its own platform when its current deal with Netflix expires in 2021.
Now, we know what else will be on the service, including that other NBC hit Parks and Recreation.
The line-up of new original dramas will be led by a new Battlestar Galactica series, from Mr. Robot and Homecoming EP Sam Esmail.
Esmail has confirmed that it will not be a remake or reboot of Ron D. Moore’s own version of the franchise, and will instead “explore a new story within the mythology while staying true to the spirit of Battlestar”.
Other dramas include Dr. Death, based on the true-crime podcast starring Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater, Brave New World, based on the dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley and starring Alden Ehrenreich and Demi Moore, Angelyne, a limited series from Emmy Rossum, and One of Us Is Lying, based on the New York Times best-selling young adult mystery-thriller.
The platform’s new original comedies will include Rutherford Falls, co-created by Mike Schur, Ed Helms, and Sierra Teller Ornelas, and starring Ed Helms, Straight Talk, from Rashida Jones and Jada Pinkett Smith, a reboot of Saved By the Bell from Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock), featuring original cast members Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez, and a revival of Punky Brewster, starring Soleil Moon Frye as a grown-up version of her former character, plus an all-new season of A.P.Bio, starring Glenn Howerton and Patton Oswalt. and the second movie spinoff from the long-running series Psych.
A “broad array” of unscripted programming will include a new Saturday Night Live docuseries, Who Wrote That, from creator Lorne Michaels, exploring the famous personalities in front of and behind the camera, plus an original talk show series from Jimmy Fallon.
Other older NBC titles will include 30 Rock, Bates Motel, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Frasier, House, Friday Night Lights, Monk, Top Chef, Saturday Night Live and Will & Grace.
On top of that, Universal Pictures is developing original films and animated series to debut on Peacock with prominent talent and filmmakers, while existing films from Universal, Focus Features Illumination and DreamWorks Animation will include American Pie, Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, Casino, Brokeback Mountain, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Shrek, The Breakfast Club and Mamma Mia!.
Peacock will rollout in April 2020, with details of pricing and devices not yet confirmed. The main question, though, will be whether it will be available in the UK as well as in the USA. With the official site currently saying “This service is unavailable in your region”, though, the odds are low. Indeed, with Sky and NBC both owned by Comcast, it’s more likely that Sky will be the UK home of any new Peacock originals; Sky recently announced it would be bringing Saturday Night Live exclusively to UK TV screens in its own new channel, Sky Comedy, which launches next February.
Similarly, HBO Max is not expected to launch in the UK in the very near future, with Sky and HBO having a close relationship, including a $250 million co-production deal inked between Sky Studios and the cable giant in 2017.
While NBC’s Peacock joins a growing number of US media players readying to take on Netflix, and the streaming disruptor sees a growing number of classic TV shows being pulled out of reach by the industry’s pushback, it currently appears that US audiences will have their feathers ruffled more than viewers in the UK.