Following in the footsteps of Apple and Disney, NBCUniversal has unveiled its shiny new streaming service. Peacock – named in honour of the famous NBC logo – aims to stand out from the crowd by offering a free, ad-supported TV shows.
Peacock Free launches on 15th July in the US, serving up 7,500 hours of programming, including next-day access to current seasons of first-year NBC shows, complete seasons of classic TV shows, as well as Universal movies and episodes of SNL Vault and Family Movie Night.
That free-for-all feast of TV might sound like a bold move, but it should see Peacock attract a 'yuge' audience from day one – and generate an immediate surge of advertising revenue. NBCUniversal chairman, Steve Burke, said he hopes to make about about $5 per month in ad revenue from every Peacock Free viewer.
It's not all peace and love, though. There will be two paid tiers called Peacock Premium: a $4.99 per month version with ads, and a $9.99 per month tier without ads.
So, what do you get for your money? Live sports, mainly, including non-televised Premier League soccer games, Ryder Cup golf and the Tokyo Olympics. It's a strategy that mirrors Amazon, which has experimented with live sport streams via its Prime Video streaming service (Netflix and HBO+ are yet to trial live sports).
Not a fan of British soccer or birdies 'n' bogeys? Premium subscribers get to watch NBC's Late Night shows before they're broadcast. Those who fancy an early night can see The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 8pm ET rather than the usual TV time of 11:35pm ET.
Peacock Premium also has some new original series in the works, including Intelligence starring former Friends star David Schwimmer, and Girls5Eva, produced by Tina Fey.
With TV broadcasters haemorrhaging viewers to YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Apple and now Disney, Peacock's free version could turn the tide. It aims to capture 30 million subscribers by 2024. We shall see.