NBCUniversal Says Peacock Still on Track for July Launch

Earlier this year Comcast and NBCUniversal announced their new streaming service Peacock to the world, revealing a tentative July launch date for the full service with an April preview to debut beforehand. This summer date for the full service launch wasn't completely arbitrary and was originally set to tie into the 2020 Summer Olympics, but due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus the Olympics have been postponed until next year. Despite that delay, NBC Universal has announced they intend to stick with their original July launch date for the service but have been considering moving up the release for consumers.

“That is something we’re evaluating,” Matt Strauss, chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises said during a conference call about the service's launch. “We certainly see the value, but with the team working from home, for now July is still the target date.”

Strauss went on to reiterate that the two phases of the launch plans for Peacock and that they intend to stick to that: “We always planned to launch in two phases, first on Comcast to watch and learn, then nationally. We are able to maintain our timeline."

The first phase of Peacock's launch will begin tomorrow, Wednesday, April 15, when an "early preview" Peacock Premium will be made available for Comcast and XFinity subscribers around the US. This version of the streaming service will be ad-supported and comes at no additional cost to subscribers. Peacock will include 15,000 hours of television and movies for subscribers to enjoy including shows like Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, and Saved by the Bell, plus movies like Jurassic Park, E.T., Shrek, and early access to NBC's late night shows, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers.

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There will be three tiers of Peacock available to customers when it formally launches in July, from Peacock Free to Peacock Premium to an Ad-Free version of Peacock Premium. The free version is free, Peacock Premium will be $4.99 a month (or free for XFinity subscribers), and the Ad-Free version will be $9.99 per month (XFinity subscribers can grab this version for an extra $4.99 a month). The free version will not have access to the entire Peacock library and will only be subject to "select episodes of marquee Peacock originals."

In addition to all of the other content that will be available on Peacock, the streaming service will also be home to original content however much of their slate of originals have been delayed into 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Shows in development/production for Peacock include a new Battlestar Galactic, an adaptation of Brave New World, and MacGruber, plus revivals of Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster.