NBC’s Peacock offers free service to a crowded streaming TV field

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At a time when viewers are weighing the cost of adding another streaming service, Peacock, from the parent of NBCUniversal Comcast, arrives Wednesday with a price that is hard to beat: $ 0.00.

The new free service, and a “premium” level ($ 4.99 per month) which starts with almost 20,000 hours of programming, includes advertisements, but you can avoid them by paying $ 5 more.

The launch on an already crowded market of services based on paid subscriptions, including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and newcomers Disney +, Apple TV + and HBO Max, does not discourage Peacock president Matt Strauss, who sees the Peacock’s pricing structure as an asset.

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“I think there is this growing sense of subscription fatigue, where you have all of these choices, but you pay for them all and they add up quickly,” he says. “We are trying to approach streaming in a different way, the combination of high quality programming that is available at a very affordable price. There is nothing more affordable than free. ”

The NBC connection brings sports and news, two genres not available on many streaming services. NBC News announced Monday “TODAY All Day”, a new portal also available on TODAY.com. Current and past seasons of Telemundo shows are also included on Peacock.

The streaming service has not revealed whether all or part of “The Office”, which Peacock obtains exclusively in January, at the end of his Netflix contract, will be on the free or paid component. Another NBC fan favorite, “Parks and Recreation” will be at the free level in October when Peacock obtains exclusive broadcast rights.

Peacock will also be the exclusive home of 1,000 episodes of Dick Wolf’s “Law & Order” and “Chicago” franchises.

Peacock’s launch has been scheduled to be launched in conjunction with NBC’s coverage of the 2020 Summer Olympics now postponed, postponed to next year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But an increase in pandemic-related circulation could partially compensate for the loss of this marketing opportunity, explains Lisa Herdman, senior vice-president of the advertising firm RPA. She doesn’t think Peacock’s later arrival at the streaming club will be a problem.

“Most of the streaming channels of all kinds of pedigree have a chance right now. The audience (streaming) is increasing, ”she said. Peacock “has a couple of things that are beneficial. It’s free and it has an (older) programming arsenal ”at a time when many are nostalgic.

Peacock is not immune to the effects of the production stoppage that affected all television and film production. Remakes of “Battlestar Galactica”, “Saved By the Bell” and “Punky Brewster”, as well as the podcast “Dr. Death” with Jamie Dornan and Alec Baldwin, will not be available at launch.

Where can viewers get Peacock?

Since April, 15 million subscribers to Comcast’s Xfinity and Flex cable and streaming services have received premium access at no additional cost; Cox subscribers get the same offer starting Wednesday.

Strauss said at the start, family viewing was a big draw. “What we found early on was that a lot of the people who fled there were really looking for comfort television,” he says.

Like HBO Max, Peacock is not yet available on the two largest streaming platforms, Roku and Amazon Fire, but viewers will be able to access it on Apple devices, Microsoft Xbox devices, Google platforms and devices and Vizio Smartcast and LG smart TVs. Other options include the Peacock app or peacocktv.com.

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So what do you get for free?

The free level will include more than half the hours of service programming. As some are on Hulu, current NBC programming will be available – just one day after broadcast for premium subscribers; a week later for free – and viewers can watch “30 Rock”, “Downton Abbey” and “Friday Night Lights”. The cinematheque includes classics such as “Jurassic Park” and “ET”

“Saturday Night Live”, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” will be available, with clip-based channels highlighting the best of Fallon, Meyers and the “SNL” safe.

Peacock relies heavily on the television and movie libraries of NBCUniversal properties, including NBC, USA, Syfy, E! and Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation. But it also extends to the non-exclusive programming of other studios, notably “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Frasier”, “Cheers” and “The Carol Burnett Show”.

“We were not called NBC Plus. We were called Peacock. This is partly because we’ve always had an eye on this larger version of how we want to aggregate content, much broader than NBCUniversal, “says Strauss.

What additional programming will premium subscribers receive?

For premium $ 4.99, premium subscribers also receive popular shows such as “Two and a Half Men”, “House”, “Yellowstone”. with “Shrek” and “The Bourne Identity”.

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Peacock is finally planning to offer premium viewers the opportunity to watch Fallon and Meyers hours before their slots, a decision that has been delayed due to the effects of the pandemic on production.

At launch, most of the original series will be available exclusively at the premium level, although the selected originals, such as “Psych 2: Lassie Come Home”, will be free.

New shows include:

• “Intelligence”, a comedy starring the creator of the series Nick Mohammed and the former “Friends” David Schwimmer as a pair of mismatched investigators whose unlikely partnership could threaten the fight against cyber-terrorism.

• “Brave New World”, an adaptation of the classic novel by Aldous Huxley, imagining a utopian society where peace is guaranteed by prohibiting privacy, money and history. Demi Moore, Harry Lloyd, Jessica Brown Findlay and the star of Alden Ehrenreich.

• “The Capture”, a conspiracy thriller that explores the contemporary issues of fake news and omnipresent intelligence. The cast includes Ron Perlman and Famke Janssen.

What is available in news and sports?

Peacock will present the daily highlights of NBC News and Telemundo News, as well as NBC News NOW and Sky News.

On the sport side, premium subscribers will be able to watch over 175 Premier League football games in the 2020-21 season; “In depth with Ryan Lochte”, while the gold medalist swimmer is looking for a return to the Olympic Games at 35; and “Lost Speedways”, an overview of the forgotten circuits hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

What about children’s TV?

Peacock offers new, exclusive episodes of “Curious George”, entertaining and educational programs based on the classic children’s book character, and two DreamWorks animated series: “Where’s Waldo?” “And” Cleopatra in space “.

La bibliothèque comprend «Woody Woodpecker», «Top Chef Jr.», «Sabrina: The Animated Series», «Fievel’s American Tails», «Care Bears», «New Adventures of He-Man», «Big Fun Crafty» et « Baby Einstein Classics. ”

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