NBC Peacock launch date and plans official: Ad-free and Comcast deals

Punky Brewster

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.

That said, all these services aren't directly competing. Premium subscribers can also pay $5.00 a month for an ad-free experience while any non-Comcast or Cox subscribing consumer can pay $9.99 per month for the Premium ad-free service. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers will both be streaming on the service, from 8pm ET, as part of its "Late Night Early" option.

NBC unveiled the name of their streaming service back in fall of 2019, which is set to roll out this April 2020.

If you don't want to open your wallet, there'll be Peacock Free.

"We like the idea of zigging when others zag", NBCUniversal Chairman Steve Burke said of the company's decision to rely on ads at a time when major competitors like Netflix and Disney are relying on monthly subscriptions.

Peacock will be one of the last entries in the crowded streaming landscape, dominated by Netflix Inc and including Walt Disney Co's Disney+, Apple Inc's Apple TV+, Amazon.com Inc's Amazon Prime Video, Hulu (controlled by Disney), and ViacomCBS Inc's CBS All Access. Described as "a free premium ad-supported streaming service with subscription tiers", Peacock will include shows like Law and Order, Yellowstone, and Two and a Half Men. The company expects to reach 30 million to 35 million active accounts by 2024. It'll be free, but with advertisements.

Peacock Premium adds another 7,500 hours of programming.

The average commercial time per hour topped 14 minutes on broadcast and cable networks previous year, according to Nielsen. Big-name advertisers are already on board, including State Farm, Target and Unilever.

Like the free version, Peacock Premium also includes commercials. It will be free for Comcast and Cox subscribers, who now number more than 24 million, NBCUniversal said.

Many beloved shows to binge-watch will be on the new service including The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Downton Abbey and Everyone Loves Raymond, as well as new original shows and movies.

Those willing to pay will have access to additional content, however. Alternatively, Peacock ad-free will be $9.99 per month standalone. The standard Netflix plan costs $13 per month.

Comcast is investing $2 billion in Peacock throughout 2020 and 2021, and will break even by year five, according to Comcast Chief Financial Officer Mike Cavanagh.

Despite its awful 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.



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