NBC’s Peacock streaming service will be free, with ads


Alright, who’s ready for another streaming service? NBCUniversal hopes you are, because it just rolled out details about its upcoming service, Peacock, at an investor event in New York, per Variety.

The big news is that Peacock, as speculated, will have a free option. For exactly no money, people can watch 7,500 hours of NBCUniversal programming, although they’ll have to suffer through ads. This includes next-day access to new episodes of television, full runs of older shows, movies, news and sports programming, Spanish-language context, curated channels like “Family Movie Night” and “SNL Vault,” and “select episodes” of Peacock originals and tentpole series. So it sounds like Peacock will save some of the good stuff for paying subscribers to Peacock Premium.

There are two options there. Under the $5/month plan, you get access to 15,000 hours of live and on-demand content, but there are still ads. Under the $10/month plan, you get all that content and no ads.

And if you happen to have be a customer of Comcast Xfinity TV or Cox Communications, you get access to Peacock Premium for no charge, although it’s the version with ads. An extra $5/month takes those ads away. NBC aims to bundle Peacock with more partners as it gets closer to release, which will be April 15 for Comcast and Cox customers and July 15 (right before the summer Olympics) for everyone else.

So overall, this is pretty easy to grasp, and at free, the price is right. That should give NBC a fighting chance as the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Amazon Video, Quibi and a bunch I’m probably forgetting to mention battle for dominance. I think everyone knows that there’s only a certain number of streaming services people will pay a monthly fee for. Why not dispense with that requirement entirely and rely on ads like a normal TV network?

Also, Peacock will have The Office starting in 2021 when it leaves Netflix. Begun, the streaming wars have.

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