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(Pocket-lint) - NBCUniversal has its own video streaming service called Peacock.

It's designed to offer cord-cutters a slate of big-budget original series from showrunners who have previously worked with NBCUniversal, but it also carries TV shows and movies from the company's Universal arm as well as sports and more. Peacock, therefore, directly competes with other streaming services from popular US networks, such as Paramount+, HBO Max, and Disney+. Here's everything you need to know about it, including how much it costs and which countries and devices you can access it from at launch.

What is Peacock?

Peacock first launched in 2020.

It is a video streaming service that draws on NBCUniversal's wide swathe of properties. At launch, you can use Peacock to watch 20,000 hours of original programming, as well as dramas, comedies, news, sports, unscripted TV, kid-friendly content, Spanish-language content, and curated channels.

Why is it called Peacock?

NBCUniversal said the name Peacock is a "nod to NBC’s iconic logo".

What can you watch on Peacock?

Peacock offers original programming and plenty of hits from "the vaults of NBC", including The Office and Parks and Recreation.

Here are three "takeaways" NBCUniversal is really promoting:

  • Original dramas: Including Battlestar Galactica reboot from Sam Esmail; Dr. Death Starring Alec Baldwin, Jamie Dornan, and Christian Slater; Brave New World featuring Demi Moore; Armas de Mujer from the team behind Telemundo’s La Reina del Sur
  • Classic comedies: Including Parks and Recreation and The Office, which will run exclusively on Peacock. Additionally, 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Saturday Night Live, Will and Grace, King Of Queens’ and Married With Children.
  • Original comedies from Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Mike Schur, Ed Helms, Jada Pinkett Smith, Rashida Jones, and Tracey Wigfield.

In terms of shows, you can expect NBC classics like 30 Rock, Bates Motel, Battlestar Galactica, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Chrisley Knows Best, Covert Affairs, Downton Abbey, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Friday Night Lights, House, KUWTK, King Of Queens, Married…With Children, Monk, Parenthood, Psych, Royal Pains, and Saturday Night Live.

Peacock will also feature blockbusters and acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, and Hollywood’s biggest studios. These movie titles will include: American Pie, Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, A Beautiful Mind, Back to the Future, Brokeback Mountain, Casino, Dallas Buyers Club, Do the Right Thing, Erin Brockovich, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Field of Dreams, Jaws, Mamma Mia!, Shrek, The Breakfast Club, and franchises like Bourne.

Peacock will also stream nearly all of the shows from Dick Wolf’s Wolf Entertainment, including Law and Order, Chicago PD, and more.

Finally, Telemundo, a major Spanish-language network, will even be available on Peacock. You can expect 3,000 hours of Telemundo.

Does Peacock have originals?

Yes. Peacock offers original programming.

Universal is even developing original films and animated series for Peacock. DreamWorks Animation will also create originals for the service.

Which devices support Peacock?

You can see the full list of supported devices here. But, to summarise, Peacock is now available to watch on the following devices:

  • Desktop browser: Peacocktv.com
  • Apple devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, and the Apple TV app. You'll be able to sign up for Peacock or upgrade your membership with in-app purchases as well.
  • Google devices: Android phones and tablets and Android TV devices, Chromecast, and Chromecast built-in devices. If you sign up through Android and Android TV, you get free access to Peacock Premium until 15 October.
  • Xbox One consoles: Microsoft's Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X. You can even get it from the Microsoft Store. You'll be able to sign up for Peacock or upgrade your membership with in-app purchases on Xbox.
  • Sony consoles: PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro consoles (from 20 July 2020).
  • Smart TVs: Vizio SmartCast TVs and LG Smart TVs.
  • Amazon: Peacock is supported on Fire TV and tablets with Fire OS 5 and above.
  • Roku: Peacock is supported on Roku 2 and later devices, including soundbars.

How much does Peacock cost?

Peacock is available in three tiers in the US:

  • Peacock Free: A free option that comes with limited programming. It consists of 7,500 hours of programming, including next-day access to current seasons of NBC shows, Universal movies, SNL, Vault, and Family Movie Night.
  • Peacock Premium with Ads: An ad-supported version that costs $4.99-a-month or $49.99 a year. It includes everything Peacock Free has, but also live sports and early access to late-night shows.
  • Peacock Premium: A $9.99-a-month (or $99.99 annually) subscription option that has fewer ads. It combines the two earlier tiers and includes non-televised Premier League games.

The first two tiers are supposed to have no more than five minutes of commercials per hour.

Does Peacock require a cable subscription?

Peacock doesn't require a cable subscription in the US. You can even watch it for free with the Peacock Free plan.

Does Peacock support 4K?

Peacock won't support high-end formats at launch, including 4K resolution, high dynamic range, and Dolby Atmos. But they are coming.

Skynbc photo 2

Where is Peacock available?

An international rollout is planned for Peacock.

US

Peacock first launched nationwide in the US. 

UK and Ireland

Peacock launched in the UK as part of Sky TV on 16 November 2021. It's available to Sky TV, Sky Glass, Sky Q, and Now customers in the UK and Ireland.

Customers access Peacock programming at no additional cost, though it appears to be an add-on rather than a fully-fledged, standalone app. Still, it offers originals as well as current and past TV shows, including the American version of The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Bates Motel, Friday Night Lights, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Real Housewives, and more. Movies on Peacock include The Last House on the Left, MacGruber, Seed of Chucky, and United 93, Very Bad Things, What Dreams May Come, and You, Me, and Dupree.

Other international markets

Starting 25 January 2022, Peacock will be included - at no additional cost - for Sky Q and Sky Ticket customers in Germany, plus Sky X customers in Austria. They are getting a "new Peacock destination, featuring a growing catalogue of world-class original and iconic TV shows and movies from across NBCUniversal".

Peacock will continue to roll out across Sky platforms in Switzerland and Italy in the coming months, making it available to almost 20 million Sky customers.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.
Sections TV