Comcast and NBC unveil plans for Peacock streaming service, including 'Law & Order' and 'SNL'
Comcast unveiled plans for Peacock, the latest streaming service, that includes three subscription tiers and 15,000 hours of entertainment, news and sports programming for those who pay the most.
At a presentation in the "Saturday Night Live" studio in New York, the parent of NBC Universal touted plans, beginning in April, to stream episodes of shows including "Law & Order: SVU," "Superstore" and "Saturday Night Live." In a first, "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and "Late Night with Seth Meyers" will be streamed several hours before they air on NBC each night, at 8 EST and 9 EST, respectively.
The service, initially available only in the U.S., will be the exclusive home of producer Dick Wolf's "Law & Order" and "Chicago" franchise libraries, totaling 1,000 episodes, although several NBC shows currently stream new episodes on Hulu.
Reruns of NBC's "The Office," a top draw on Netflix, and "Parks and Recreation" will move to Peacock once Netflix's contracts end in 2021. And Universal films released this month and beyond will eventually be streamed there, alongside non-exclusive titles from "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" to "Jaws" and "American Pie."
Original series include remakes of "Battlestar Galactica," from producer Sam Esmail ("Mr. Robot," "Homecoming"), remakes of teen series "Saved By the Bell" and "Punky Brewster;" and Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World," starring Demi Moore. Other projects include a new "Psych" movie and "Girls5Eva," a comedy about a one-hit wonder 1990s pop group that reunites, produced by Tina Fey, and a continuation of "A.P. Bio," a canceled NBC sitcom.
Peacock has also signed a deal with Kevin Hart that includes a stand-up special and an interview series, "Hart to Heart." And the service is developing potential projects Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Norman Lear and a “MacGruber” reboot with Will Forte, based on his "SNL" character and movie.
The new service will air live coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, before NBC airs taped highlights in prime time, along with the opening and closing ceremonies and three daily wrap-up shows. Premier League soccer and Ryder Cup golf tournament also will be streamed. And NBC News and Spanish-language Telemundo will produce original content.
In an increasingly crowded landscape, the new service has one advantage over most of its rivals: Unlike Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Apple TV+ and Disney+, the basic tier of the new service is free and will carry ads. A "premium" version, also ad-supported, will be free to Comcast cable customers when it launches on April 15; a full national rollout is expected July 15, just in time for the Olympics, when Cox Cable customers (and, it hopes, other cable services) will also receive it. Comcast predicts it will have 30 million to 35 million subscribers by 2024.
- A free service, available to anyone, that will include news and sports programming and next-day repeats of current series, some already available on Hulu.
- A $4.99 "premium" monthly service that adds original programs, early late-night shows, Olympics content and about twice the amount of content, but still has about five minutes of commercials per hour. (It will be free to Comcast and Cox cable customers.)
- An ad-free version of the premium service, with no commercials, for $9.99 a month.
Matt Strauss, who is running Comcast, acknowledged to investors in New York on Thursday there's a "streaming fatigue" as other services clamor for attention. Current offerings range from Apple TV+'s $4.99 fee, for a handful of original series, to $6.99 for Disney+, $12.99 for Netflix and $14.99 for WarnerMedia's HBO Max, due in May.
But Fey, Fallon, Meyers and Savannah Guthrie were among those on hand to tout offerings, make jokes and mock the service's name.