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Comcast unveils more about NBC’s new streaming service Peacock

Comcast offered new details about its NBC-branded Peacock streaming service that is expected to land on smart TVs, set-top boxes, phones and tablets later this year.

At launch, Peacock will have more than 15,000 hours of video content, including full seasons of NBC hit shows like “Parks & Recreation” and “30 Rock,” Comcast announced at an investor event on Thursday.

The service will also include content licensed from other studios, including:

  • “Frasier,” a CBS/Paramount-produced show that originally aired on NBC,
  • “Everybody Loves Raymond,” an HBO-produced show that originally aired on CBS, and
  • “Married with Children,” a Sony Pictures series that originally aired on Fox.

Comcast will also spend $500 million to re-obtain digital streaming rights to “The Office,” a NBC show that currently streams on Netflix. It will continue to stream on Netflix until moving to Peacock in 2021.

“Peacock will provide consumers with a destination that goes beyond movies and television, aggregating a variety of content that fans want on one service,” NBCUniversal executive Matt Strauss said in a written statement distributed to reporters on Thursday.

Peacock will launch with three tiers:

  • A free plan with advertisements and a limited library of TV shows and movies,
  • A $4.99 per month tier with advertisements and an expanded library of shows and movies, and
  • A $9.99 per month tier with no advertisements at all.

The service will roll out to Comcast’s X1 and Flex subscribers on April 15 as well as subscribers of Cox Cable. Non-Comcast and Cox customers will be able to subscribe to Peacock in July, the company said.

Comcast said it hopes to sign on more than 30 million Peacock subscribers by 2024, though it wasn’t immediately clear if the telecom plans to include Comcast subscribers — who will receive the premium ad-supported tier for free — as part of that count.

Comcast is the latest media company to launch its own streaming service as studios increasingly  seek to offer their shows and movies direct to customers instead of relying on licensing deals through aggregates like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu (through the NBC subsidiary, Comcast once had an equity stake in Hulu). In response, Netflix and Amazon have invested heavily in original content, while Hulu —now controlled by Disney, which also operates streaming service Disney Plus — plans to transform into a hub for FX cable shows and movies later this year.

This story was updated from an earlier version to include details about Peacock’s availability to Cox Cable subscribers.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).