The next big contender in the streaming wars will appear in 2020 when NBCUniversal launches Peacock. The streaming service will leverage the media company’s century-long history in the entertainment industry. Will the content on this ad-supported streaming service be worth your time? Flixed has compiled everything we know about the Peacock content library to help you decide.
Will Peacock Have Live TV?
Unlike Amazon, Netflix and Disney, NBCUniversal plans to make live TV an important part of the Peacock experience. The media company will leverage its news and sports operations to produce exclusive programming as well as covering live events. The company’s executives have not gone into much detail, but two events in 2020 will play a big role in Peacock’s launch.
2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo
NBCUniversal has an exclusive contract to televise the Olympic Games in the United States. Hosted in Japan, the 2020 games will begin in late July, three months after Peacock’s launch.
During the 2018 Winter Games, all of the company’s cable and broadcast channels carried extensive coverage of the event. NBC had 176 hours of live coverage. Its sports network, NBCSN, had 369 hours of coverage which included 10 days of round-the-clock Olympic sports. MSNBC, CNBC and USA Network chipped in as well with coverage of several winter sports. And, of course, NBC’s Olympic Channel ran for two weeks with nothing but live and recorded content from South Korea.
This was also the biggest event in the history of NBC’s streaming operations. The NBCOlympics website had more than 1,800 hours of live and on-demand content The NBCSports app delivered the same content to mobile devices.
Peacock will give NBCUniversal another channel for delivering live and on-demand coverage of the Summer Games in Tokyo. Given the Olympics’ popularity — NBCUniversal’s revenue rose $1.6 billion during the 2018 games — the company’s executives expect the 2020 Summer Olympics to really drive Peacock subscriptions. “We’re going to use the Olympics as sort of an afterburner after our launch,” is the way NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke described it to Wall Street analysts.
2020 Presidential Elections
The Olympics’ closing ceremony will probably mark the end of optimistic, feel-good television for the rest of 2020. From there on out, all cameras and microphones will be focused on the battle between Republicans and Democrats for the White House.
As far as media executives are concerned, the results of the election won’t matter. The 2016 election season drove cable and broadcast advertising revenue to record levels — more than $2.5 billion across the industry. With its ad-supported business model, Peacock will fit right into NBCUniversal’s election strategy. The details of Peacock’s role aren’t known yet. It could be anything from simulcasting streams from NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC to having its own election programming.
How Much Content is Available On-Demand From Peacock?
At the moment, however, much of the focus on Peacock is how it will compete with Netflix and Disney+. When Peacock goes live in April 2020, it will have more than 15,000 hours of on-demand content.
What Kind of Content Can I Expect From the Peacock On-Demand Library?
This will be a mix of movies and TV shows from the NBCUniversal archives, older content acquired from other production companies and original programming.
Does Peacock On-Demand Content Have Commercials?
NBCUniversal’s executives have made it clear that they are using their existing business model. Peacock will be partially ad-supported and partially subscription-based. Ad Age reported that the company is already pitching ad firms with packages costing as much as $25 million.
While ad revenue is part of the Peacock strategy, the executives in charge know that people really don’t like the streaming ad experience. “You can rely on Peacock to have the lightest load of any ad-supported streaming platform that’s out there right now,” NBCUniversal advertising chairman Linda Yaccarino told Variety.
You can probably expect a tiered approach similar to Hulu’s on-demand service. A free or low-cost tier will have ads before, during and after each video. A subscription tier could reduce or eliminate the advertising.
What Apps Can I Use to Watch Peacock On-Demand?
Peacock’s app strategy hasn’t been revealed, but you can expect to see the streaming service on all of the major platforms. The NBC Sports and NBC apps, for example, are on iOS, Apple TV, Android, Android TV, Windows, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One and Samsung smart TVs.
On-Demand Content on Peacock
The 15,000 hours of content Peacock will serve up leverages the media giant’s long history in the entertainment industry. At this point, however, Peacock doesn’t seem to be following the Disney+ strategy. Disney is opening its entire archive and letting people watch all of the cartoons, movies and TV shows it’s produced since the 1920s. Peacock seems to be taking a more curated approach by providing content most likely to get people watching.
This curated approach includes a deal signed in late 2019 with content producer Lionsgate and its subsidiary Starz.
TV Content from NBCUniversal’s Archives
All seasons of The Office and Parks and Recreation — now available on Netflix —will move into the Peacock library when it launches. Other shows from NBC include hit dramas and comedies that made the network must-see TV in the Eighties and beyond.
TV shows that will be available on Peacock include:
- 30 Rock
- Bates Motel
- Battlestar Gallactica
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- Chrisley Knows Best
- Covert Affairs
- Downton Abbey
- Everyone Loves Raymond
- Friday Night Lights
- Keeping Up with the Kardashians
- King Of Queens
- Married…With Children
- Royal Pains
- Saturday Night Live
- The Real Housewives
- Top Chef
- Will & Grace
Film Content from NBCUniversal’s Archives
In addition to content from the NBC broadcast network, Peacock subscribers will get movies from the company’s production studios. This includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination. Peacock will also license content from outside production studios.
- American Pie
- Back to the Future
- A Beautiful Mind
- The Breakfast Club
- Brokeback Mountain
- Dallas Buyers Club
- The Despicable Me films
- Do the Right Thing
- Erin Brockovich
- E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
- The Fast & Furious films
- Field of Dreams
- The Jason Bourne films
- Knocked Up
- Mamma Mia!
- Meet the Fockers
- Meet the Parents
In late 2019, Comcast and Lionsgate signed a cross-licensing deal that kept Starz on the Xfinity cable service and promises more content for Peacock. Although specific media properties weren’t listed in the announcement, Peacock will get access to “hundreds of feature films and shows from the Lionsgate catalog.” That catalog includes the Hunger Games and John Wick film franchises and TV series such as ALF and Nashville.
Peacock’s Original Content
New shows that will be exclusive to Peacock are already in production. These include a new series set in the universe of Battlestar Galactica, a sequel to Saved by the Bell and a spinoff of The Real Housewives franchise.
For more details about Peacock’s original content check out Flixed’s feature article.
Peacock en Español
NBCUniversal owns the Spanish-language channels Universo, Telemundo and TeleXitos. As a result, Peacock will launch with more than 3,000 hours of dedicated Spanish-language content including:
- 100 Dias Para Volver
- Betty En NY
- El Barón
- Preso No. 1
Peacock will also produce Spanish-language original content. One of the first, Armas de Mujer, is being produced by the makers of La Reina del Sur.
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.