Peacock (streaming service)
Type of site
|OTT video streaming platform|
|Headquarters||30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City, New York, |
|Area served||United States|
|Key people||Matt Strauss (Chairman)|
|Parent||NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises|
(NBCUniversal Television and Streaming)
|Users|| 54 million (as of July 29, 2021[update])|
10 million premium (as of May 2021[update])
Peacock is an American over-the-top video streaming service owned and operated by the Television and Streaming division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. Named after the NBC logo, the service launched on July 15, 2020. The service primarily shows content from NBCUniversal studios and other third-party content providers, including television series, films, news, and sports programming. The service is available in a free ad-supported version with limited content, while premium tiers include a larger content library and access to additional NBC Sports and WWE Network content.
Early availability for Xfinity Flex customers began on April 15, 2020, with X1 customers receiving the preview by May 1. Nationwide release was July 15, 2020. By October, Peacock had reached more than 22 million signups. By January 2021, Peacock had over 33 million signups. By April, Peacock reached 42 million signups. By May, Peacock had fewer than 10 million premium subscribers. By August, Peacock reached 54 million signups.
On January 14, 2019, NBCUniversal created NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises under chairman Bonnie Hammer. This included the launch of an over-the-top streaming service, named "Peacock" and made available in April 2020. This move also included new original programming, NBCU property reboots, while NBC series The Office and Parks and Recreation were taken off rival streaming services Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video and joined the service once their exclusive streaming rights to rival streaming services expired, with Parks and Recreation joining in October 2020 and The Office joining in January 2021.
By January 28, 2021, Peacock had amassed a total of 33 million subscribers. On April 29, Peacock reached a subscriber count of 42 million. On June 23, it was revealed that Peacock had around 10 million premium subscribers as of May 2021.
Peacock has three tiers of service: Free, Premium, and Premium Plus. The Premium tier is a subscription-based service which includes Peacock's full library of content, while the Free tier contains a subset of its content. The Free and Premium tiers are advertising-supported, with commercials limited to five minutes per-hour. Peacock Premium s included in some services from television service providers, such as Cox and Xfinity. Subscribers to Peacock Premium, whether subscribing directly or receiving service through a provider, can upgrade to the ad-free Premium Plus tier for an additional monthly cost.
On May 6, 2020, a distribution deal with Apple made Peacock available on iOS devices and Apple TV on-launch. Peacock content is also available within the Apple TV app, and the Premium service is available as an in-app subscription.
On September 18, 2020, NBCUniversal and Roku reached an agreement to add Peacock to its devices in the United States, narrowly avoiding a blackout of NBCUniversal's TV Everywhere apps due to a dispute over revenue sharing and advertising inventory assignment. On September 21, Peacock officially launched on Roku.
The service is drawn primarily from the NBCUniversal library, including subsidiaries such as Universal Pictures and Universal Television. It is said to include at least 15,000 hours of content on-launch without a subscription, and an additional 5,000 hours of content for Premium subscribers. Current episodes of NBC series will become available on Peacock the day after their premiere for Premium subscribers; non-subscribers will receive them on a week's delay.
Peacock also offers a lineup of around 25 curated digital linear channels, including long-form and digital-originated programming content from NBCUniversal's broadcast and cable properties (such as Today All Day, a digital extension of NBC's morning show Today), as well as third-party content providers. They are designed to emulate a traditional broadcast programming experience (similar to services such as Pluto TV and Xumo, the latter of which was purchased by NBCUniversal parent Comcast in February 2020).
On January 26, 2020, NBC announced plans to stream The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers at 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. ET, respectively, ahead of their television premieres on NBC. The decision, however, was criticized by many of NBC's affiliate groups out of concern that the "pre-airs" of both late-night talk shows on Peacock would cannibalize viewership for the shows on local NBC stations.
On July 6, 2021, Universal announced that they would not be renewing their pay-one output deal with HBO in favor of bringing their films to Peacock during the pay-one window beginning in 2022. All films will exclusively be available on Peacock during the first and last 4 months of the 18-month pay-one window (with Universal licensing their live-action films to Amazon Prime Video and licensing their animated films from Illumination and DreamWorks Animation to Netflix in-between those 2 exclusivity windows).
Lionsgate licenses library content for Peacock, as part of a larger agreement by Comcast to renew its carriage of Starz. In turn, NBCUniversal will license content for StarzPlay in the U.S. and internationally. On January 16, 2020, Peacock acquired the streaming rights to the Warner Bros. Television series Two and a Half Men and George Lopez, the Paramount Network series Yellowstone, as well as The Matrix films. In February 2020, A&E Networks licensed some titles from the A&E and History libraries to Peacock. The Streaming service also has rights to the Harry Potter film series after the films were dropped by rival HBO Max, owned by the owner of the Harry Potter films.
On July 1, 2020, ViacomCBS non-exclusively licensed some of its television series and films to Peacock, such as The Affair, Everybody Hates Chris, Ray Donovan, and Undercover Boss among others. The service will also hold rights to several Paramount Pictures films under a limited exclusivity window from 2021 to 2023.
On May 18, 2021, Peacock announced that it had acquired the U.S. streaming rights to the Eurovision Song Contest under a two-year deal, beginning with the 2021 edition (whose first semi-final heat was held later that day). The agreement came shortly after NBC reached an agreement with the EBU to produce an music competition series patterned off Eurovision.
On January 25, 2021, NBCUniversal, which already televised WWE's weekly programs, Raw and NXT on USA Network, acquired the exclusive U.S. distribution rights to the WWE Network streaming service beginning March 18, 2021. WWE content is carried within a branded channel on Peacock, which includes a selection of WWE Network content on Peacock's free tier, and the full WWE Network library for Peacock Premium subscribers, including its original programming, archive content, and all WWE pay-per-view and WWE Network-exclusive events live and on-demand. WWE is committing to produce a "signature documentary" for the service annually beginning in 2022. The standalone WWE Network service for existing U.S. subscribers was shut down on April 4, 2021.
Peacock serves as an overflow outlet for NBC Sports programming. After the planned discontinuation of NBCSN by the end of 2021, Peacock and USA Network are expected to subsume its programming.
As part of NBC's coverage, Peacock Premium carries 175 Premier League soccer matches not on linear television per-season, along with on-demand replays of all matches. This offering replaced the separate "Premier League Pass" service offered via NBC Sports Gold. As part of the service's national launch, all matches played on July 15, 2020, were carried exclusively by Peacock for free. Other NBC Sports Gold services have since been subsumed by Peacock Premium, including Figure Skating Pass, Rugby Pass, Snow Pass, motorcross, speed skating, and IndyCar Pass.
As part of NBC's renewal of its rights to the NFL, Peacock will simulcast all of NBC's games beginning in the 2021 NFL season (including Sunday Night Football, playoff games, and Super Bowl games aired by NBC), and will carry one exclusive game per-season from 2023 through 2028. Peacock will also add a channel featuring content and programming from the NFL Films library. Also beginning in 2021, it will similarly simulcast all of NBC's Notre Dame football broadcasts (with the team's opening game in 2021 being streamed exclusively on the service).
Peacock participated in NBC's coverage of the Olympics beginning with the 2020 Summer Olympics; it carried a "Tokyo Now" channel with rolling coverage via several studio shows, including the whiparound program Tokyo Tonight, Tokyo Live (a morning program with event and medal ceremony coverage), the recap show Tokyo Gold, On Her Turf at the Olympics (which featured news and highlights focusing on women at the Olympics), and the comedic Olympic Highlights with Snoop Dogg and Kevin Hart.
Starting with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Semifinal series between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Montreal Canadiens, the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the entire Stanley Cup Finals was simulcast on Peacock. During the 2021 Major League Baseball season, a three-game series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants, whose regional television rights are both held by the NBC Sports Regional Networks, aired exclusively and nationally on Peacock.
NBC News's digital streaming channel NBC News Now, and Sky News—a UK news channel owned by Comcast subsidiary Sky Group, are carried on Peacock's free tier. NBC News and Sky News had also planned to collaborate on an international news channel for Peacock known as NBC Sky World News, but the proposed service was scrapped in August 2020.
In October 2020 during the leadup to the 2020 presidential election, NBC News launched a new channel on Peacock known as The Choice, which airs original news and opinion programs. At launch, these included The Majority Report with Sam Seder, The Mehdi Hasan Show, and Zerlina. In July 2021, the channel was rebranded as The Choice by MSNBC to align itself closer with the MSNBC cable network.
In June 2020, Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment acquired exclusive Canadian broadcast rights to Peacock original programming. In August 2020, NBCUniversal signed a distribution deal with Australian streaming service Stan, including Peacock's original programming.
On July 29, 2021, Comcast and Sky announced that Peacock would be launching in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in Q4 2021, and would be available to all Sky Q, Now (in Ireland, Italy & the United Kingdom) and Sky Ticket (in Germany) customers at no extra cost from its launch.
In August 2021, Comcast announced an agreement with ViacomCBS to launch SkyShowtime, a joint streaming service combining programming from both companies, including Peacock originals, which will be based on Peacock's infrastructure. The service is expected to be available in 20 smaller European territories, including four Nordic countries along with Hungary and Poland where it will replace ViacomCBS' Paramount+, instead of Peacock and Paramount+ operating separately in those markets.
|Release date||Country/Territory||Release partner(s)|
|July 15, 2020||United States[a]|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
- The service soft launched for Xfinity cable and broadband customers on April 15, 2020.
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 97 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 112 UN member states are said to have recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.
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