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What is Peacock and When Does It Begin Streaming?

On July 15, the Peacock streaming service will be available to stream across multiple devices.

Your video streaming options in the United States are about to grow by one. Peacock, an over-the-top subscription video-on-demand streaming service launches on July 15, although it’s already available for some early users. Here’s our first look at Peacock and its content.

First announced in September 2019, the new service is owned by NBCUniversal, which makes sense when you consider the logo for NBC is a colorful peacock. Unlike the upcoming HBO Max streaming service, Peacock will offer a free programming tier alongside two premium plans.

Tiers

Peacock Free is fully ad-supported (limited to five minutes per hour) and launches with up to 7,500 hours of free programming. The tier features next-day access to current seasons of NBC series, plus full runs of older series. There’s also Spanish-language content and Peacock original programming.

Besides annoying ads, Peacock Free does not offer 4K/HD.

Peacock Premium includes over 15,000 hours of content on the day and is also ad-supported. Eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex 4K subscribers already receive this tier free of charge. In the coming months, Peacock Premium will also launch (for free) to Cox Contour customers and other cable subscribers.

These customers can pay $5 per month and get Peacock Premium Plus, which includes the same content as the regular premium tier, but without the ads. Those who are not Comcast or Cox customers can get Peacock Premium for $4.99 per month or Peacock Premium Plus for $9.99 per month.

Both premium plans support 4K/HD.

Programming

Peacock plans on offering a mix of new and classic content, including T.V. shows and films. Most, but not all of this content, was originally on NBC or produced by Universal. Among the classic titles coming to the service are 30 Rock, Parks, and Recreation, Cheers, Downton Abbey, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friday Night Lights, Frasier, Will & Grace, The King of Queens, and House.

The new streaming service will also feature all 44 seasons of Saturday Night Live, and include daily programming from 75 streaming channels that are under the NBCUniversal umbrella.

Films launching on Peacock on launch day include the “Jurassic Park” franchise, “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Meet the Parents,” “Shrek,” and more.

First-Run Content

Ultimately, Peacock’s going to sink or swim based on the popularity of its original programming. And yes, there’s a lot of new content coming at some point on the service. Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, much of the content won’t arrive until sometime in 2021.

Among the new series coming to Peacock are:

  • Brave New World, starring Demi Moore and Alden Ehrenreich, that’s based on the dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley.
  • A revival of Battlestar Galactica by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail.
  • Dr. Death, an intense drama based on the true-crime by the same name that stars Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin, and Christian Slater.
  • Both a Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell revival.
  • MacGruber, based on the Saturday Night Live sketch character.
  • Amy Poehler’s Division One about an underdog women’s collegiate soccer team.
  • Girls5Eva by Tina Fey, about a one-hit-wonder girl group that’s hoping for more fame.
  • The Kid’s Tonight Show featuring … kids!
  • A Queer as Folk reboot.

Evening and Daytime Perks

Peacock Premium subscribers will gain early access to each episode of NBC’s late-night talk shows. Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will stream early on Peacock at 8 p.m. E.T., followed by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 9 p.m. E.T. You’ll also see daily episodes of Access Hollywood, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and Days of Our Lives.

What’s Missing?

NBCUniversal’s original plan was to heavily promote Peacock’s launch during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Unfortunately, the games were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic until 2021. The U.S. version of The Office will also not get a launch on Peacock until 2021. That’s when the series’ Netflix deal expires, and all 201 episodes move over to the new streaming service.

Where to Find It and Does It Make Sense?

ew, including Microsoft Xbox and all Apple devices, including Apple TV. The service is likely to also show up on Roku, Android devices, and browsers.

Peacock’s arrival could prove challenging because of the ongoing pandemic, which has delayed the Summer Olympics and most of the service’s planned original programming. And, thanks to an arrangement with Hulu, much of the classic content found on Peacock won’t be exclusive, at least in the beginning. Assuming NBCUniversal is willing to be patient and deal with those early obstacles, Peacock could find a sustaining audience. Time will tell, of course.

Learn more about Peacock from the official site.

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