Peacock (streaming service)

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Peacock
NBCUniversal Peacock Logo.svg
Type of site
OTT streaming platform
Headquarters30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City, New York,
United States
Area servedAs an independent streaming service:
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Switzerland
Through SkyShowtime:
  • Nordics
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
OwnerComcast
Key people

[1]

  • Patrick Miceli (CTO)
ParentNBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises
(NBCUniversal Television and Streaming)
URLwww.peacocktv.com Edit this at Wikidata
RegistrationRequired
UsersIncrease 54 million signups (as of July 29, 2021)[2]

Increase15 million paid subscribers (as of September 30, 2022)

Increase30 million monthly active subscribers (as of September 30, 2022)
Launched
  • April 15, 2020; 2 years ago (2020-04-15) (Soft launch Xfinity customers)
  • July 15, 2020; 2 years ago (2020-07-15) (USA)
  • November 16, 2021; 12 months ago (2021-11-16) (UK & Ireland)
  • January 25, 2022; 10 months ago (2022-01-25) (Austria & Germany)
  • February 15, 2022; 9 months ago (2022-02-15) (Italy)
Current statusOperating

Peacock is an American over-the-top video streaming service owned and operated by the Television and Streaming division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. Named after the NBC logo, the service launched on July 15, 2020.[3][4][5] The service primarily features series and film content from NBCUniversal studios and other third-party content providers, including television series, films, news, and sports programming. The service is available in a free ad-supported version with limited content, while premium tiers include a larger content library and access to additional NBC Sports, Hallmark Channel, and WWE content.

Early availability for Xfinity Flex customers began on April 15, 2020, with X1 customers receiving the preview by May 1.[6] Peacock launched nationally on July 15, 2020; as of August 2021, the service had reached at least 54 million signups.[7] Peacock was given a soft launch on the Sky and NOW platforms in the UK and Ireland on November 16, 2021, free to all customers. On January 25, 2022, Peacock further expanded in Sky territories, soft launching in Austria and Germany.[8] In January 2022, the service reached 24.5 million monthly active accounts and 9 million paid subscribers.[9]

In April 2022, the service has reached 28 million monthly active accounts and 13 million paid subscribers, an increase of 40% from the previous quarter. It also reported a 25% increase in engagement year-over-year.[10][11]

As of September 2022, the service has 30 million monthly active accounts and 15 million paid subscribers, a 70% increase in paid subscribers since the start of 2022.[12]

History[edit]

On January 14, 2019, NBCUniversal created NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises under chairman Bonnie Hammer. This included the launch of an over-the-top streaming service,[13] named "Peacock" and made available in April 2020. This move also included new original programming, NBCU property reboots, while NBC series The Office and Parks and Recreation were taken off rival streaming services Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video and joined the service once their exclusive streaming rights to rival streaming services expired, with Parks and Recreation joining in October 2020 and The Office joining in January 2021.[3][14]

By January 28, 2021, Peacock had amassed a total of 33 million subscribers.[15] On April 29, Peacock reached a subscriber count of 42 million.[16] On June 23, it was revealed that Peacock had around 10 million premium subscribers as of May 2021.[2] During their Q1 2022 earnings call Comcast reported 28 million active Peacock accounts with 13 million of those as paying customers[17]

On November 16, 2021, the Comcast subsidiary Sky Group, launched the Peacock service in the UK and Ireland, making it available free of charge to Sky TV and NOW customers.[18]

Distribution[edit]

Peacock has three tiers of service: Free, Premium, and Premium Plus. The Premium tier is a subscription-based service which includes Peacock's full library of content, while the Free tier contains a subset of its content. The Free and Premium tiers are advertising-supported, with commercials limited to five minutes per hour. Peacock Premium is included in some services from television service providers, such as Cox and Xfinity. Subscribers to Peacock Premium, whether subscribing directly or receiving service through a provider, can upgrade to the ad-free Premium Plus tier for an additional monthly cost.[19]

Peacock soft launched for Xfinity cable and broadband customers on April 15, 2020, before launching nationally in the United States on July 15, 2020.[19]

On May 6, 2020, a distribution deal with Apple made Peacock available on iOS devices and Apple TV on-launch. Peacock content is also available within the Apple TV app, and the Premium service is available as an in-app subscription.[20]

On July 20, 2020, Peacock launched an app for PlayStation 4.[21]

On September 21, 2020, Peacock became available on Roku.[22] The company's September 18 agreement for the service narrowly averted a blackout of NBCUniversal's TV Everywhere apps on Roku devices, due to a dispute over revenue sharing and advertising inventory assignment.[23][24]

On June 8, 2021, Peacock launched an app for Samsung smart TVs.[25]

On June 24, 2021, Peacock launched an app for Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire tablets, such as Fire HD.[26]

Content[edit]

The service is drawn primarily from the NBCUniversal library, including subsidiaries such as Universal Pictures and Universal Television. It is said to include at least 15,000 hours of content on-launch without a subscription, and an additional 5,000 hours of content for Premium subscribers.[27][21][28] Current episodes of NBC series are available on Peacock the day after their premiere for Premium subscribers; non-subscribers will receive them on a week's delay.[21]

Peacock also offers a lineup of around 25 curated digital linear channels, including long-form and digital-originated programming content from NBCUniversal's broadcast and cable properties (such as Today All Day, a digital extension of NBC's morning show Today),[29] as well as third-party content providers. They are designed to emulate a traditional broadcast programming experience (similar to services such as Pluto TV and Xumo, the latter of which was purchased by NBCUniversal parent Comcast in February 2020).[30]

On January 26, 2020, NBC announced plans to stream The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers at 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. ET, respectively, ahead of their television premieres on NBC. The decision, however, was criticized by many of NBC's affiliate groups out of concern that the "pre-airs" of both late-night talk shows on Peacock would cannibalize viewership for the shows on local NBC stations, and never came to fruition.[31]

On July 6, 2021, Universal announced that they would not be renewing their pay-one output deal with HBO, in favor of bringing their films to Peacock during the pay-one window beginning in 2022. All films will exclusively be available on Peacock during the first and last four months of the 18-month pay-one window (with Universal licensing their live-action films to Amazon Prime Video and licensing their animated films from Illumination and DreamWorks Animation to Netflix in-between those two exclusivity windows). The pay-one window for Universal films was initially brought forward to four months after a film's initial theatrical release with this move, but it was later announced on December 9, 2021, that the pay-one window would be brought forward to as little as 45 days after a film's initial theatrical release (though Universal's deals with theater chains regarding the premium video on demand window for these films would be unaffected by this move).[32][33][34]

In January 2022, NBC's Spanish-language sister network Telemundo announced TPlus, a new "content hub" for Spanish-language programming on Peacock Premium that will launch later in 2022 to coincide with the FIFA World Cup.[35]

In May 2022, Universal Pictures announced that it would shift three of its films to Peacock in 2023: Shooting Stars, a biographical feature about LeBron James based on his memoir; Praise This, about a youth choir music competition; and a remake of John Woo's 1989 crime drama The Killer.[36][37][38][39][40][41]

In August 2022, NBC announced that its long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives would move exclusively to Peacock Premium beginning September 12, 2022, after a 57-year run on the network. The miniseries spin-off Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem had previously premiered as a Peacock original series.[42][43] It also announced that next-day streaming of Bravo programs would move to Peacock for the upcoming television season, as NBCUniversal had invoked its option to end an agreement with Hulu for next-day streaming rights for NBC and Bravo programming.[44][45]

Original programming[edit]

Third-party content[edit]

Lionsgate licenses library content for Peacock, as part of a larger agreement by Comcast to renew its carriage of Starz. In turn, NBCUniversal will license content for StarzPlay in the U.S. and internationally.[46][47] On January 16, 2020, Peacock acquired the streaming rights to the Warner Bros. Television series Two and a Half Men and George Lopez, the Paramount Network series Yellowstone, as well as The Matrix films.[48][49] In February 2020, A&E Networks licensed some titles from the A&E and History libraries to Peacock.[50] Peacock also had rights to the Harry Potter film series as part of an existing deal with NBCUniversal networks from October 2020 until August 2021, before WarnerMedia took them back on September 1, 2021, for HBO Max after an adjustment in the agreement.[51][52]

On July 1, 2020, ViacomCBS non-exclusively licensed some of its television series and films to Peacock, such as Everybody Hates Chris, Ray Donovan, and Undercover Boss among others. The service will also hold rights to several Paramount Pictures films under a limited exclusivity window from 2021 to 2023.[27]

On July 14, 2020, the service acquired the Canadian drama Departure for a U.S. premiere.[28]

On July 17, 2020, Cinedigm licensed over a dozen films and three streaming channels for Peacock's launch, with hundreds of other films and television episodes to follow.[53]

In January 2021, Peacock added Claudia Rosencrantz and Adrian Woolfe's streaming entertainment news channel LIT, with the platform serving as its U.S. launch partner for an exclusivity period.[54]

On May 18, 2021, NBCUniversal announced that it had acquired the U.S. streaming rights to the Eurovision Song Contest for Peacock under a two-year deal, beginning with the 2021 edition (whose first semi-final heat was held later that day).[55] The agreement came shortly after NBC reached an agreement with the EBU to produce an U.S. music competition series patterned off Eurovision.[56]

On June 10, 2021, Peacock added content from anime streaming service RetroCrush.[57]

On October 31, 2022, NBCUniversal announced an SVOD agreement with Hallmark Media, under which Peacock Premium would add a hub featuring content from Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Drama. The agreement includes both on-demand content from Hallmark's library of original series and made-for-TV movies, and the live, linear feeds of all three networks.[58][59]

WWE content[edit]

On January 25, 2021, NBCUniversal, which already televised WWE's professional wrestling weekly programs Raw and NXT on the USA Network, acquired the exclusive U.S. distribution rights to the WWE Network streaming service beginning March 18, 2021. WWE content is carried within a branded channel on Peacock, which includes a selection of WWE content on Peacock's free tier,[60] and the full library for Peacock Premium subscribers, including WWE Network original programming, archive content, and all premium live events (pay-per-views) live and on-demand.[61][62] Some WWE content on Peacock has been edited to meet NBCUniversal standards and practices, particularly to remove content considered inappropriate under current standards.[63][64]

The standalone WWE Network service for existing U.S. subscribers was shut down on April 4, 2021.[60]

WWE committed to produce a "signature documentary" for the service annually beginning in 2022.[61][62] In May 2021, Peacock announced that it had ordered WWE Evil, a documentary series created, produced, and narrated by John Cena that chronicles WWE's most prominent antagonists.[65]

Sports programming[edit]

Peacock has carried NBC Sports programming, including live events either in simulcast with NBC, or exclusive to the service. Many of the standalone subscription services offered under the NBC Sports Gold banner were merged into Peacock Premium shortly after its launch including Premier League Pass,[66] IndyCar Pass,[67] Figure Skating Pass,[68] Rugby Pass, Snow Pass,[69] motocross,[70] and speed skating.[71]

In August 2020, Peacock launched "NBC Sports on Peacock", a content hub featuring sports talk shows and radio simulcasts such as PFT Live with Mike Florio, The Dan Patrick Show, The Rich Eisen Show.[72] In September 2020, NBC Sports on Peacock added Brother From Another, a sports and pop culture-themed show co-hosted by former ESPN reporter Michael Smith and sports writer Michael Holley.[73] Fantasy Football Happy Hour and Fantasy Football Pregame with Matthew Berry premiered in September 2022.[74]

Notable sporting events carried or simulcast by Peacock include:

News programming[edit]

NBC News's digital streaming channel NBC News Now, and Sky News—a UK news channel owned by Comcast subsidiary Sky Group, are carried on Peacock's free tier.[89] NBC News and Sky News had also planned to collaborate on an international news channel for Peacock known as NBC Sky World News,[90][91] but the proposed service was scrapped in August 2020.[92]

In October 2020 during the leadup to the 2020 presidential election, NBC News launched a new channel on Peacock known as The Choice, which airs original news and opinion programs. At launch, these included The Majority Report with Sam Seder, The Mehdi Hasan Show, and Zerlina.[93][94][95] In July 2021, the channel was rebranded as "The Choice by MSNBC".[96]

In January 2021, Peacock premiered The Overview, a new weekly series hosted by Gadi Schwartz that features conversational discussions on news topics and "paradigm shifts" impacting the world.[97]

In January 2022, Peacock launched 24/7 streaming local news channels from the NBC Owned Television Stations division, the channels features simulcast and encore news programming, along with breaking news and original content produced by its NBC station's local news operations. The 4 markets launching the streaming local news channels on January 20, with stations in Chicago (WMAQ-TV, as NBC Chicago News), Miami (WTVJ, as NBC Miami News), Philadelphia (WCAU, as NBC Philadelphia News) and Boston (NBC 10 Boston/NECN, as NBC Boston News) as launch cities, followed by two other cities including New York City (WNBC, as NBC New York News) and Los Angeles (KNBC, as NBC LA News) on March 17, 2022.[98][99]

International syndication and versions[edit]

In June 2020, Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment acquired exclusive English Canadian broadcast rights to Peacock Original programming.[100] In October 2021, Quebecor Content acquired exclusive French Canadian rights to Peacock Original programming for its streaming service, Club Illico.[101] Other content found on Peacock such as the WWE Network but the Canadian version is available through Rogers Sports & Media-owned SportsnetNOW streaming service.

In December 2021, OSN acquired Peacock's original programming with the Middle Eastern streaming service, OSN+.[102]

In August 2020, NBCUniversal signed a distribution deal with Australian streaming service Stan, including Peacock's original programming until 2022.[103]

On July 29, 2021, Comcast and Sky announced that Peacock would be launching in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in Q4 2021 and would be available to all Sky Q, Sky Glass, and Now/Wow (in Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the United Kingdom) customers at no extra cost from its launch.[104] Peacock was given a soft launch in the UK and Ireland on November 16, 2021, to all Sky and Now subscribers. On January 25, 2022, Peacock further expanded in Sky territories, soft launching in Austria and Germany, followed by Italy on February 15, 2022,[105] and Switzerland on March 2, 2022.[106]

On August 18, 2021, Comcast announced an agreement with Paramount Global to launch SkyShowtime, a joint streaming service combining programming from both companies, including Peacock Originals, which will be based on Peacock's infrastructure.[107] The service is expected to be available in 20 smaller European territories, including four Nordic countries along with Hungary and Poland where it will replace Paramount Global's Paramount+, instead of Peacock and Paramount+ operating separately in those markets.[108] SkyShowtime was released in September 20, 2022 in the Nordics, and will launch in October 25, 2022 in the Netherlands and Portugal, and in the first quarter of 2023 in Central and Eastern Europe.[109][110]

At the same time, Bloomberg News reported that Comcast was working towards launching Peacock in several other territories, including Latin America, Australia, Asia, and France.[111]

  Available
  Confirmed launch
  Available through SkyShowtime
  To be available through SkyShowtime
  Distribution deal with local partner for NBCUniversal owned Peacock originals
Release date Country/Territory Release partner(s)
July 15, 2020 United States[a] Xfinity, Cox
November 16, 2021 Ireland Sky
United Kingdom
January 25, 2022 Austria
Germany
February 15, 2022 Italy
March 2, 2022 Switzerland
September 20, 2022 Denmark SkyShowtime[112]
Finland
Norway
Sweden
October 25, 2022 Netherlands
Portugal
December 14, 2022
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Kosovo[b]
Montenegro
Serbia
Slovenia
February 2023
Albania
Czech Republic
Hungary
North Macedonia
Poland
Romania
Slovakia
Early 2023
Andorra
Spain
2023[citation needed] Australia TBA
France
Hong Kong
India
Latin America
Southeast Asia
South Korea
Taiwan
Distribution partners for NBCUniversal-owned Peacock Originals
Country/territory Partner (main services) Expiry Refs.
Australia Nine Entertainment Co. (Stan) TBA [103]
Canada Corus Entertainment (Showcase / StackTV) Unknown [100]
Quebecor Content (Club Illico) [101]
MENA OSN (OSN+) [102]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The service soft launched for Xfinity cable and broadband customers on April 15, 2020.
  2. ^ The political status of Kosovo is disputed. Having unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo is formally recognised as an independent state by 101 UN member states (with another 13 states recognising it at some point but then withdrawing their recognition) and 92 states not recognizing it, while Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory.

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