Published: Fri, January 17, 2020
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Peacock reveals launch date & pricing, teases new D&D adventure, classic sci-fi & more

Peacock reveals launch date & pricing, teases new D&D adventure, classic sci-fi & more

NBCUniversal's new Peacock streaming service will offer free and $5-per-month options with advertising to try to win customers for its belated entry into the online video wars, the company announced on Thursday.

Peacock Free will be offered nationwide and include more than 7,500 hours of programming including classic NBC series and news and sports including the Olympics.

Those willing to pay will have access to additional content, however. But Peacock also marks a very different approach from rivals.

If you don't want to open your wallet, there'll be Peacock Free. It'll include next day access to current seasons of freshman broadcast series, together with complete classic series, and popular movies.

Peacock has also ordered a racing series from Dale Earnhardt Jr. and a behind-the-scenes documentary series that follows USA Basketball superstars on their journey to Tokyo, produced in partnership with the NBA.

That's also the way Peacock is priced, so we're crossing our fingers that's how the service turns out. Also ad-supported, the service will "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". In all, Peacock says, you're looking at more than 15,000 hours of content, twice what there is from the free tier. Not only did the platform confirm the April 2020 early bird premiere date (and a July 15, 2020 national debut), but they also elaborated on the streaming service's subscription options, which includes free ad-supported tiers.

Numerous newer streamers - including the just-launched Disney+ and Apple TV+, as well as the upcoming HBO Max - are opting for an ad-free experience.

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The other level of service, Peacock Premium, will be bundled free for 24 million subscribers belonging to Comcast and Cox. Starting on July 15, Peacock Free and Peacock Premium will be available on web, mobile and connected-TV devices.

NBCUniversal said it expects to reach 30 million to 35 million active Peacock accounts by 2024.

NBCUniversal announced a whole bevy of series and movies that would be coming to Peacock back in 2019, but it's adding a few titles to the list today.

That said, all these services aren't directly competing.

Despite its bad name (they couldn't even avoid Peacock jokes during the presentation itself, with Fallon asking, "What names did you turn down to before settling on Peacock?"), the service has a chance to grab a slice of the streaming market thanks to its decent back catalog and NBCU's plans to promote the service heavily during the Summer Olympics on NBC.

Movies on Peacock:American Pie, Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, A Beautiful Mind, Back to the Future, Brokeback Mountain, Casino, Dallas Buyers Club, Do the Right Thing, Erin Brockovich, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Field of Dreams, Jaws, Mamma Mia!, Shrek, and The Breakfast Club, plus films from the Bourne, Despicable Me and Fast & Furious franchises.

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