This story was originally published on September 17, 2019 and is being updated as new information comes in.
Bucking the “plus” naming trend Apple and Disney used for their new streaming services, NBC Universal is dubbing its upcoming SVOD “Peacock,” after the company’s iconic logo.
Though the bulk of Peacock’s initial slate of acquired, original and vault programming consists of TV and movie content for grownups—including popular comedy The Office, a reboot of sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica and classic features Jaws and A Beautiful Mind—it will feature kids and family content mostly thanks to Comcast-owned DreamWorks Animation.
Peacock will join upcoming streamers Disney+, Apple TV+ and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max to do battle with established SVOD giants Netflix and Amazon. The announcement of Peacock comes just a week after Apple revealed details of its direct-to-consumer offering, which launches November 1 for US$4.99.
When will Peacock roll out?
It will launch on April 15 on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex customers. Before debuting for the rest of the US on July 15.
How much content will be included?
Peacock will have more than 15,000 hours of programming, which includes 600 movies and 400 series, as well as live and on-demand news, sports, late night, and reality.
How much will it cost?
There will be two-tiers, Peacock Free which is (as the name suggests) a free ad-supported option with more than 7,500 hours of programming, including access to current seasons of new broadcast shows, complete classic series, popular movies and curated daily news and sports programming and select Peacock originals.
Peacock Premium, meanwhile, will be bundled at no additional cost to Comcast and Cox subscribers. This is also ad-supported with 15,000 hours of content, including full seasons of Peacock originals and tentpole series and next day access to current seasons of returning broadcast series, early access to late night talk shows and additional sports (including Premier League). It’s also available for US$4.99 per month on all connected mobile and web devices for non-customers. It also plans to bundle the premium with additional partners in the future.
Premium users can also upgrade to add free for an additional US$5 per month.
What will be offered for kids and family content?
Though NBC-owned US kidcaster Universal Kids shifted its programming strategy in June by halting commissioning or creating original content (shows that potentially could have been offered on Peacock), the company is banking on its longstanding relationship with DreamWorks to offer both original and library TV and film content.
On the movie front, DreamWorks Animation (How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek) will create original family-friendly content for Peacock. Universal Pictures plans to develop original films and animated series, too, but titles are yet to be announced. DWA TV chief Peter Gal previously confirmed with Kidscreen that DWA TV also expects to produce shows for the service. New DWA TV series Fast & Furious: Spy Racers, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous and Dragons Rescue Riders are yet to be confirmed for the platform.
For young adult content, the streamer has greenlit One of Us Is Lying, a limited series based on the New York Times best-selling YA mystery-thriller by Karen M. McManus.
As for live-action comedies, Peacock has tapped Emmy Award-winning comedy writer Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock) to reboot popular ’90′s series Saved by the Bell, which will see the return of a few original cast members, including Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez. Actor Soleil Moon Frye is also set to reprise her role as Punky Brewster in a remake of the hit same-name series from the ’80′s.
Will it commission original content?
Its unclear as of yet if the SVOD will take new original content pitches.
Why is it called Peacock?
The name is on-brand for the channel, which has long-used the colorful peacock feathers for its logo.