Massive Library May be included and Increase Streaming Compitition
NBCUniversal and Comcast will be making their debut into the media market’s ongoing streaming war on July 15th, 2020. On that Wednesday in the midst of the summer, the globally renowned entertainment conglomerate will launch “Peacock,” the ultimate online service for all things Comcast.
Just to set the record straight, NBCUniversal owns far more than just the Nightly News and old horror movies. DreamWorks, Illumination, Focus Features, G4TV, USA Network, and Syfy amongst others all fall under the company’s corporate umbrella. Thus, there is a lot of reason behind consolidating all of its content to one streaming service, especially when competitors Disney, WarnerMedia, and CBS are all starting to do it.
Comcast first announced that it would be starting its own streaming service over a year ago in January 2019, and it released the name “Peacock” (based on NBC’s colorful feathered symbol) on September 17th. At that time, NBCUniversal also stated that the website would be launched in April 2020 and that it will eventually be the sole place to stream NBC favorites “The Office” and “Parks & Recreation.”
Obviously, the launch date has been pushed back since then. Nevertheless, the announcement that “The Office” and “Parks & Rec” will be barred from other streaming services is a big blow for the competition. Netlflix, for one, will certainly suffer from the loss of these shows, as “The Office” in particular has been one of the most popular programs in its catalogue for years. With shows like “The Office” and “Parks & Rec” (and “Saturday Night Live” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) having such vast, dedicated fan bases, one can imagine customers subscribing to Peacock just for the access to specific programs.
Peacock will also have movies from Universal Pictures and its subsidiaries, and a slew of original content from veteran NBC and USA showrunners such as Mike Schur of “The Good Place” and Sam Eslami of “Mr. Robot.” Hopping on Hollywood’s current nostalgic bandwagon, Schur will be creating a reboot of 1980s sitcom “Punky Brewster” for the service and Eslami will be leading a revival of “Battlestar Galactica.”
From “Free” to $10 per Month with Comcast Customer Link
When it comes to pricing, Comcast is offering Peacock at three different tiers. The least expensive tier costs absolutely nothing. This version of the platform will be called “Peacock Free” and it will have limited, ad-supported content. The next level up will again be ad-supported, but it will have access to the service’s full library. This will be free for Comcast customers and cost $5/month for everyone else.
The final tier will be called “Peacock Premium.” It will cost $10/month and will run ad-free. Like the second tier, it will have access to the service’s complete catalogue plus live sports, including Premiere League soccer, which is a television rarity in the United States.
At $10/month, even Peacock’s priciest option is relatively cheap compared with the competition. While it costs more than Disney+’s generous $7/month fee, it remains thriftier than Netflix and Amazon Prime’s standard $12/month plans and HBOMax’s forthcoming $15/month price tag.
Still, Comcast is willing to offer even better Peacock deals for their loyal customers. Comcast and Cox cable users can get Peacock Premium for free with ads, or for half price without ads. Those who subscribe to Comcast Xfinity X1 or Flex will be also able to get Premium early—in April.
As opposed to Netflix that began its business in streaming or Disney and Warner that are only now starting to transition, NBCUniversal is evidently trying to keep its foot in conventional television with Peacock. The deals that Comcast is making with its cable subscribers are direct incentives to stifle the cord-cutting phenomenon while still keeping up with the times.
With Netflix getting copious nominations this awards season, Apple TV coming in hot with “The Morning Show,” Disney+ estimating to earn $2.2 billion in 2020, and HBOMax coming out it May, the streaming wars are in full swing. Throw Hulu, Amazon Prime, Quibi, and multiple other platforms into the mix and one can clearly see that the competition is quite fierce. The media sphere is changing, and NBCUniversal is straddling the line between the old and the new. We’ll just have to wait until July to see where Peacock stands and how it plays out.
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