On Thursday, NBC made several announcements regarding its new streaming site, Peacock—its attempt at keeping up with streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu. But how do you decide where to subscribe among all of these options, assuming you can’t get access to a friend’s account? Below, everything you need to know about NBC’s new streaming site, launching later this year, and why it’s probably not worth giving up your Netflix account just yet.
Editor's Note: Peacock is currently unlikely to launch in Australia, but should still be accessible via the use of a VPN.
How much is it?
NBC and Comcast announced a three-tier system regarding pricing: a free, ad-supported option with limited programming; a free, ad-supported option with complete access for Comcast customers (or $US5 ($7) for non-Comcast customers); and a $US10 ($15)-a-month option with no ads and complete access to its programming. The first two tiers are referred to as Peacock Free; the last tier is Peacock Premium.
What kind of content can I expect?
Peacock’s lineup is still in the works, but you can count on any current and past NBC shows, including Law and Order: SVU, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and The Office and any late-night shows like Saturday Night Live, the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Late Night with Seth Meyers. (It should be noted that Netflix U.S. has the rights to The Office until 2021, meaning that the show will join the Peacock platform at a later date. Some of these shows, including SNL, will also remain on Hulu, while also made available on Peacock.) You can also expect shows from any NBC-owned channels like those that appear on CNBC or Bravo, in addition to classic movies from its backlog of Universal Pictures films, like Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and Jaws. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, expect some live sports and news coverage, too.
Peacock is also enlisting some NBC heavyweights for its slate of original content. There are several series currently in development for the platform, including a show called Division One, based on a women’s soccer team and executive produced by Amy Poehler; a comedy series about a girl group executive produced by Tina Fey; and a revival of the MacGruber character for a series starring another SNL alum, Will Forte.
When can I use it?
Peacock will launch on July 15 in the U.S.
Should I subscribe?
It’s a little too early to tell. If you’re in it for reruns, several popular NBC shows already have backlogs on other platforms, like Friends (coming to HBO Max in May), The Good Place (on Netflix), Parenthood (on Netflix), and Saturday Night Live (on Hulu)—which might make subscribing to Peacock a little useless if you already subscribe to one or more of its competitors.
With the exception of SNL, as mentioned, it’s not yet clear what will happen with some NBC shows that already stream on other platforms. (Will Netflix take them down? Will Peacock have rights over certain seasons of shows?) If you’re interested in the original movies and shows, again, it’s too early to tell, though both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s involvement is promising. For Olympics coverage, I could see it being very useful, but for now, I’d be hesitant to subscribe for any reason beyond that. If you want to take a closer look and decide for yourself, check out Peacock’s site and sign up for updates.