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Friends, The Office, and Ads: Details on NBC's Peacock Streaming Service

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Screenshot: NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal has been teasing out details about its forthcoming streaming services for months, but the company today finally dropped the scoop on its ad-supported model and pricing structures.

During an investor relations call on Thursday, the company revealed that service will be built around “primarily ad-supported premium streaming,” with three pricing tiers. Peacock will have a free ad-supported option as well as an additional ad-supported tier with more content called Peacock Premium for $5, which the company said will give users access to 15,000 hours of content, including next-day access to series, early access to late-night shows, and more sports.

In addition, Peacock will offer a third tier for $10 tier that will be completely ad-free. Cox and Comcast subscribers will get the Premium tier gratis, while the ad-free option will only cost those subscribers $5 per month. As for the trade-off you’re getting for a free service, viewers will see fewer than five minutes of ads per hour, with ads at launch from State Farm, Target, and Unilever, among other brands.


Peacock is positioning itself as the answer to streaming in an increasingly crowded space with services with either ad-supported or premium. Peacock wants to be both, with the company at one point describing itself as “21st century broadcast business delivered on the internet.” Peacock will offer news, originals, legacy films and series, live events like sports and the Olympics (Peacock will have a designated, year-round Olympics channel), and other content historically broadcast by a cable network. The company is banking on the notion that people don’t mind ads if it means they’re getting their content for a reasonable price.

Taking a page from the Disney+ playbook, Peacock’s highlight reel of forthcoming content played to nostalgia, from Back to the Future, to Jurassic Park, ET, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Office, Friends and other legacy series, films, and franchises that will live under a single roof on Peacock. As Tina Fey—who was brought on stage to introduce the reel—put it, it’s like NBC is “getting the band back together” by bringing many of its popular shows and movies produced over several decades—and many of which have been licensed out to other services, as with The Office and Friends—back under NBC’s wing. Last year, the company also announced that it had secured a deal with Lionsgate to offer an extended catalog of movies.


“Peacock will provide consumers with a destination that goes beyond movies and television, aggregating a variety of content that fans want on one service,” Matt Strauss, Chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, said in a statement. “By delivering timely and topical content like live and breaking news coverage, kids content, live sports, and watercooler moments from late-night, Peacock is uniquely bringing a pulse to the world of streaming that does not exist in today’s marketplace.”

Peacock will be available to Xfinity X1 and Flex customers beginning April 15 before Peacock Free and Premium become available to everyone July 15. Peacock will be available on mobile, web, desktop, and smart TVs.


This story may be updated throughout.