NBC will launch the Peacock streaming service in April, NBCUniversal said Tuesday. Peacock is pinning its hopes for streaming success against a ballooning group of competitors by leaning into shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation, movies from its studios and originals that include a bunch of reboots (including reboots of reboots).
The company didn't specify pricing, other than to confirm that Peacock will have a paid subscription and another tier supported by advertising. The ad-supported tier may be a cheaper subscription, similar to rival streaming services Hulu and CBS All Access, but earlier reports indicated that NBC wants it to be free. (Note: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)
According to Deadline, NBCUniversal hopes to make a reboot of The Office, which itself was a reboot of a British series. A revival of The Office would join a Peacock reboot of Battlestar Galactica (itself a reboot of the 1970s sci-fi series) by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, as well as reboots of Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell.
The Office will still be available on Netflix until January 2021.
Peacock, a nod to NBC's longtime logo, will launch at a time when seemingly every major media property is putting out its own streaming option. It will compete with established giant Netflix, the world's biggest subscription streaming service with more than 150 million members. It will also face a new service from Disney called Disney Plus and another from HBO-owner WarnerMedia called HBO Max, not to mention the big-budget streaming service coming from Apple called Apple TV Plus.
Peacock won't be NBC's first stab at streaming. For years, it was a partner in Hulu. But NBCUniversal parent company Comcast struck a deal to hand over its minority share in Hulu to Disney earlier this year. NBC also took a stab at a niche comedy-focused paid streaming service Seeso in 2014, but it folded less than three years later.
The company says it will have more than 15,000 hours of content available, and Peacock will be "center stage" for streaming the 2020 Summer Olympics from Tokyo, Japan.
Other content highlights include:
- Legacy TV shows like 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Frasier, Saturday Night Live, Cheers, Downton Abbey and The Real Housewives.
- Originals shows being developed by late-night host Jimmy Fallon, SNL producer Lorne Michaels, film star Jada Pinkett Smith and The Good Place creator Mike Schur.
- Films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Dreamworks Animation like Bridesmaids, Casino and the Fast & Furious franchise.
- Original animated programming from Dreamworks Animation, the studio behind Shrek and Kung-Fu Panda.
- Spanish-language content from Telemundo, including original shows.
NBC's press release included a longer summary of confirmed content for Peacock.
"The name Peacock pays homage to the quality content that audiences have come to expect from NBCUniversal," Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises, said in the release.
Originally published Sept. 17, 7:18 a.m. PT.
Updates, 7:33 a.m. PT and 8:20 a.m.: Adds info on Office reboot, further details and context.