Peacock is here!
No, it’s not a new type of dance move or new social media platform your kids will have to teach you to use. I’m not referring to a nattily dressed gentlemen either.
The newest type of Peacock refers to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, named after the NBC logo, which debuts Wednesday.
At first glance, the premiere of yet another streaming network may not appear to be that big a deal. There are currently more than 100 streaming services available and chances are you haven’t heard of most of them. Anyone up for some martial arts on Hi-Yah? And yes, that actually exists.
It’s also a tricky time to enter the streaming market. Established networks like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are duking it out with new kids on the block CBS All Access, Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max for content supremacy. The streaming wars are real.
All that said, NBCUniversal doesn’t seem intimidated as Peacock is loaded. The service rolls out with over 15,000 hours of content. The roster of offerings is diverse, with plenty of television shows, movies, news programs and sports (whenever it returns to normal) at your fingertips.
NBCUniversal has a massive library, with NBC, Universal Studios, USA Network, Syfy, Bravo and Telemundo all under its corporate umbrella, so it has plenty of content.
Here are all the significant details on this highly anticipated streaming service.
How much is it? It’s free! Or at least one version of it is. There are three tiers. Peacock Free is one ad-supported option. It offers more than 7,500 hours of programming and includes next-day access to current season broadcasts, access to classic series, popular movies, news and sports programming. It also offers select episodes of channels such as “SNL Vault,” “Family Movie Night” and “Olympic Profiles.”
Peacock Premium is $4.99 a month, but bundled at no additional cost to Comcast subscribers. With this ad-supported option you get everything you in have Peacock Free, as well as early access to late-night talk shows, additional sports including Premier League soccer and other programming totaling more than 15,000 hours of content. Premium customers can upgrade to an ad-free experience for an additional $5 per month. That would make the third tier $9.99 a month total.
How do I access it? The service will be available on Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. It will also be available on Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X. You can also access Peacock on Google platforms and devices. Android and Android TV users receive complimentary access to the service until Oct. 15. Peacock is also available on Vizio SmartCast TVs and LG Smart TVs. Starting the week of July 20, Peacock will be available Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.
Is there original programming? Of course! Original programs available at launch include “Brave New World” which stars Demi Moore and is based on the Aldous Huxley novel, and “The Capture,” featuring Ron Perlman in a conspiracy thriller. There’s also the comedic animated adventure “Cleopatra in Space,” animated series ”Curious George,” unscripted sports series “In Deep with Ryan Lochte,” sports docu-series “Lost Speedways,” workplace comedy “Intelligence” starring David Schwimmer, feature film “Psych 2: Lassie Come Home” and kids series “Where’s Waldo?”
These launch titles are just the tip of the Peacock iceberg. Series orders have been placed for several other original shows. There are also reboots of “Saved by the Bell,” “Punky Brewster and “Battlestar Galactica” in the works.
Peacock is also home to "Today All Day," which offers "Today's" programming 24-hours a day, seven days a week. This includes human-interest, entertainment, advice and cooking segments. "Today All Day" is free to access and is ad-supported.
What about the classics? NBC shows such as “Cheers,” “The A-Team” and “Miami Vice” are just a few of the network staples you can find on Peacock. If a show aired on a different network back in the day and is owned by Universal, you can find it here as well. Series like the original (and far superior) “Magnum P.I.” starring Tom Selleck, “Murder She Wrote” and even “Married … With Children” are all on the service. And this is just a sampling of what you can find.
What about “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office?” “Parks and Recreation” is on Peacock. “The Office” is a an NBCUniversal program, but Netflix has the rights to it until 2021.
What about movies? At launch, Peacock will have more than 600 films drawing from the libraries of Universal, Focus Features, Illumination and DreamWorks. This means “Jurassic Park,” “Casino,” “Field of Dreams,” “Shrek,” “The Breakfast Club” and hundreds more will be available anytime. Original films for the streaming service are also in development.
Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.