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NBC is launching its Peacock streaming service today - here’s what you need to know

NBC is launching its Peacock streaming service today - here’s what you need to know
(Image credit: Facebook / Peacock TV)

Today is the day: Peacock, NBCUniversal's long-awaited streaming service, launches today for select customers. 

The launch is bittersweet: it comes at an unfortunately opportune time, as most people are on lockdown and are looking for more content to consume, especially on Netflix and Hulu (which are two of the best TV streaming services). 

But the launch was supposed to be bigger in almost every way. One of the bigger opportunities to convince people to subscribe was the Summer Olympics. NBCUniversal has the American broadcasting rights to the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, and the now-canceled Olympics would have provided a one-of-a-kind marketing opportunity with millions of people tuning in every day. 

That's not all - like other streaming services, NBC was in the midst of creating original content for Peacock when the coronavirus disrupted the company's plans. This means that, by the time Peacock becomes available, there won't be as much original content as anticipated (though NBCU says that this will only make for an even bigger influx of new content in 2021). 

This doesn't mean that it's necessarily an inopportune time to launch a streaming service. Given the circumstances, the demand is only growing. 

How Peacock will compare to its competitors

So, what will be so different about Peacock, compared to other services like Hulu, Disney Plus, and Netflix?

It's worth noting that NBCU has one of the biggest libraries of content in the industry. It's home to some of the most beloved shows, like 30 Rock and Law & Order: SVU, to movies like Jurassic Park. This makes it a very attractive streaming service option, not only because of how many TV shows and movies it will exclusively stream, but also because it's expected that nearly all NBCU shows and movies currently on other services will eventually be removed from those services. That's still something that the company is considering, but not in the immediate future. 

As for new content, Peacock will be relying on its network's stars to launch live news programming, reality series, and late-night shows among other types of features. Even sports programming isn't off the table. 

How to sign up for Peacock

The bad news is that, for now, Peacock is only available to Comcast customers, so if you're a Xfinity X1 or Flex customer, then you can sign up. These lucky subscribers won't have to pay extra for the service on top of their regular bill. 

For non-Comcast subscribers, Peacock is expected to be available to all by July 15th. Peacock will be available in three tiers of service: 

  • Peacock free: The free version of Peacock will come will limited programming
  • And ad-supported, complete version free for Comcast customers ; the same version for $5 per month for all other customers
  • Peacock Premium: For $10 a month, you can get an ad-free subscription

Looking at cost alone, this is within the cost ball park other streaming services are in, and Peacock is even on the lower end of the spectrum. 

Still looking for something to watch with your kids while on lockdown? Check out the list of best TV shows to keep kids entertained and educated during the quarantine. Or consider getting Disney Plus for $6.99 per month.