NBCUniversal ‘Evaluating’ Early Nationwide Launch for Peacock But Still ‘On Track’ For July Debut

Streaming service rolls out to Comcast customers on Wednesday

Peacock Interface

NBCUniversal makes its streaming debut with the early preview of Peacock that will be exclusive to Comcast subscribers starting Wednesday, ahead of the July nationwide rollout. But with so many people forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Peacock executives suggested the service could come early.

“Some have asked if there’s an opportunity to launch Peacock nationally even sooner. And that is something we’re evaluating. We certainly see the value,” Matt Strauss, chairman of Peacock and NBCU Digital Enterprises, said on Tuesday during a conference call with the media. But he cautioned that they’ll most likely stick with the planned July 15 date.

With the entire team working virtually from home, for now, July is still the target date,” he continued.

Strauss lauded the team for even being able to get the service off the ground, despite the whole crew having to work remotely as the stay-at-home orders were enacted in the majority of states, including New York and California.

“None of us could have imagined the unprecedented and historic turn of events brought about by the coronavirus,” Strauss said. “Even though we now have 100% of the peacock team working from home around the globe, we have been able to maintain our timeline… We’re on track to launch nationally July 15, just as we planned.”

Strauss added that, despite the current health crisis, he foresees “no material changes to the financial guidance and targets we provided a few months ago. We feel really good about our strategy.” By the end of 2024, the company expects to have between 30-35 million subscribers.

When it does launch nationally, Peacock will have two separate tiers of service, both of which will be free to Comcast, as well as Cox, subscribers.

The free option, called Peacock Free, will include next-day access to current seasons of freshman broadcast series on NBC, as well as library content and curated daily news and sports programming. As for Peacock originals, this option only includes “select” episodes as well as access to what Peacock is calling “streaming genre channels” like “SNL Vault,” “Family Movie Night” and “Olympic Profiles.”

The second tier, called Peacock Premium, will available for no extra charge to Comcast and Cox subscribers. For everyone else, it will cost $4.99 a month for an ad-supported option, or $9.99 a month to have no ads. The Premium tier features everything on the Free option but includes all Peacock Originals, early access to late-night series like “Tonight Show” and “Late Night” and more sports including Premier League soccer.