Netflix broke the mold in entertainment provision when it switched from a postal video rental service to an online video streaming platform. After initially trying to kill off the innovator, the major media corporations of America switched to competing with Netflix. NBC’s main attempt at online video streaming focused on making its network output available online for live streaming, with episodes of broadcast shows in a library for visitors to stream through a media player on the NBC website.
After gaining experience of online streaming through its website, NBC decided to go all out in the video streaming market by launching its own online streaming service that fully rivals Netflix. This is who Peacock was conceived.
NBCUniversal is a division of Comcast. Another property of Comcast is the Xfinity cable TV and internet service provider. Comcast combined the advantages of its two world-beating brands by making Peacock available on Xfinity three months earlier than its launch to the general public. The launch date for Peacock was set on July 15, 2020, and the availability date for Xfinity customers was scheduled for April 15.
NBCUniversal canceled its syndication agreements with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, pulling in its best series and reserving them for Peacock. These include The Office and Parks and Recreation. NBC has also invested in new productions, which will air exclusively on Peacock. Sports programming that is currently exclusively available on NBC Sports Gold will be made available on Peacock as well.
These moves will make the new streaming service a rival to the NBC network as well as Netflix.
Added to the NBC productions, Peacock will feature movies from Lionsgate and series from Lionsgate subsidiary, Starz. A&E and the History channel will also be licensing content to Peacock.
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Who is Peacock best for?
Peacocks programming shows that it aims to capture as wide an audience as possible. The service isn’t targeting a specific demographic but will include content to appeal to each member of the family. There are some features series that will be moving over from Universal Kids. These include Where’s Waldo? And Curious George. Other child-friendly content includes The Carebears, Shrek, and Dragons.
Among content on the site are new series of Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell, so late teens and young adults will be catered for.
Grownups will be accessing Law and Order reruns, Saturday Night Live, and Late Night with Seth Myers. Peacock will be the first in the USA to air some acclaimed entertainment in from famed UK producers, Channel 4 and the BBC.
Another category of entertainment in which Peacock will be strong is Latino programming.
The initial video library of Peacock is light on original programming, with these scheduled for availability in 2021. However, a large section of the platform’s library will be available for free.
How to access Peacock
Peacock will be available on the set-top boxes provided by cable TV providers, most notably the Xfinity X1 system and the Comcast Flex streaming system. These Comcast customers are getting access to the Peacock service three months before everyone else in America. The free version of Peacock has a limit on the library, with much of the good stuff reserved for subscribers to the paid service. However, Xfinity subscribers get that paid version for free.
As Peacock hasn’t fully launched to the general public, it is still not clear exactly which types of devices the service will run over. Peacock publicists say that the library will stream over its website and also be available through mobile apps and well known set-top boxes.
It is a safe bet to expect the apps will be available for Android devices, which should include Kindle Fire tables and iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads. Android-based set-top boxes and the Apple TV set-top box system can also be expected to facilitate transfers of Peacock from the internet to TV sets.
Peacock will only be available for access to viewers who are physically located in the USA. Even subscribers to the paid versions of the service will lose access when they are abroad.