Peacock streams free movies and TV shows, but you must pay to unlock the full catalog -- including Firestarter, which hit theaters Friday.

Peacock TV is NBCUniversal’s US streaming app, with tens of thousands of hours of free programming, plus more shows, movies, sports and originals if you pay. And only paying Peacock members — those on one of its two premium tiers — can access everything on the service, including Firestarter, the Stephen King thriller starring Zac Efron; cowboy drama Yellowstone, Premier League matches, WWE, The Office, most of Peacock’s originals. 

Generally, that means you’ll need to pay either $5 or $10 a month if you want to watch any of those. But some people qualify for discounts on those prices; see the section on deals below.

Peacock was one of a flood of new streaming services from tech and media giants that launched over the last two years. Competitors include other new services, like Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Paramount Plus (the revamp of CBS All Access) and HBO Max, as well as vets like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

But Peacock is unusual among these rivals in that it offers a free tier. It also has live sports and news; most of the newest streaming services are focused squarely on video-on-demand entertainment along the lines of Netflix. 

How much does Peacock cost, and what’s the deal with the free tier? 

Peacock has three tiers: a limited one that’s free, an all-inclusive one that’s $5 a month with ads and an all-inclusive one that’s $10 a month without ads. 

The free tier limits how much you can watch. For example, Peacock offers only select episodes of its originals free, withholding the rest inside its paywall. Free accounts can watch one episode of Yellowstone and the first two seasons of The Office, but no more. And though many movies are available on this free tier, some of the most high-profile and newest ones are blocked unless you upgrade. This limited free tier has access to roughly two-thirds of Peacock’s total catalog of movies, current season TV, TV classics, curated daily news, sports, Hispanic programming and curated channels. 

Crucially, almost all of Peacock’s live sports are behind the paywall. That means to watch NFL Sunday Night Football, any Premier League matches or live Olympics coverages, you need to pay. 

The paid tiers are basically all-access passes to the full catalog on the service. Peacock Premium is $5 a month or $50 a year with advertising, or you can upgrade to Peacock Premium Plus for ad-free viewing at $10 a month or $100 a year (this Premium Plus tier is also the only one that lets you download to watch offline). 

The tiers with advertising are supposed to have no more than five minutes of commercials per hour.

Are there deals or discounts to get Peacock’s premium tiers free? 

Some people can score discounts that cut the cost of Peacock if they’re already customers of certain cable companies. Peacock gives Comcast X1 and Flex subscribers the paid versions of the service at a $5 discount. So if they want to watch with advertising, they pay nothing for Peacock Premium; if they want to watch ad-free, they need to pay $5 a month for Premium Plus. 

Cox customers also get that $5-off deal. Peacock has said it’s working on partnerships to offer this discount to a wider array of consumers. 

And Spectrum video and broadband customers to get an extended free trial to Peacock, thanks to a deal with parent company Charter Communications. Qualified Spectrum TV customers get a year-long free trial, and qualified Spectrum internet customers get 90 days. 

The pricing at Peacock’s competition runs the gamut. 

Among the services that have ad-supported options, Hulu is $6 a month with ads and $12 a month ad-free. CBS All Access charges $6 for its tier with advertising, and $10 for the ad-free version. 

By comparison, Netflix, which has no ads, offers its cheapest tier at $10 a month, while its most popular plan is $15.50. Apple TV Plus is $5 a month, Disney Plus is $7 a month, and HBO Max is $15 a month. None of them includes advertising (and none of these have live sports to speak of yet, either). 

And none of these competitors — whether with ads or without — offers a free tier like Peacock’s.

Does Peacock offer a free trial? 

No, Peacock quietly ended its free trial as a standard offer to new subscribers last year. 

What’s up with WWE on Peacock? 

Peacock is now the only place to stream the WWE Network. 

In 2021, Peacock began rolling out WWE programming just before Fastlane, the first WWE “pay-per-view” event streaming on Peacock. (All so-called pay-per-view WWE events are available to Peacock premium subscribers at no added cost.)

Any legacy subscribers to the previous WWE Network app and service were required to sign up for Peacock to keep watching. The upside to this change is that now WWE Network, including all “pay-per-view” events, will be available on Peacock Premium for $5, or half the price of the WWE Network’s old service. Peacock’s $10-a-month tier will be able to access all the same WWE programming; the only difference between being a $5 subscriber and a $10 one is that the priciest tier strips out advertising — there’s no difference in what you get to watch. 

Peacock has a dedicated WWE page to browse and stream all of its WWE programming. Peacock’s paid tiers are also home to all upcoming pay-per-view events (they’re called “pay-per-view” but there’s no additional cost to watch them on Peacock), as well as the current seasons of WWE Original shows. 

On the free tier, Peacock will also offer a new WWE “channel” with select WWE Original shows; reality shows such as Miz and Mrs., Total Bellas and Total Divas; recent in-ring content. It’ll also have new weekly episodes of select live shows including RAW Talk and The Bump, both live and on demand.

What devices can stream Peacock? 

Peacock is available on the web at Peacocktv.com, and it’s supported on:

  • Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
  • Google devices including Android phones and tablets, and Android TV devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices. 
  • Xbox One consoles.
  • Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro consoles.
  • Vizio SmartCast TVs. 
  • LG Smart TVs.
  • Roku devices.
  • Amazon Fire TV

To check the exact models that support Peacock, check the service’s support page. 

What service features does Peacock have? 

  • Up to three devices can stream Peacock simultaneously from a single account. 
  • Peacock won’t require accounts to register devices with the service, nor will it limit the number of devices a single account can use to stream. 
  • Peacock won’t support high-end formats like 4K resolution, high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos sound at launch, but they’re on the roadmap to be added. 
  • It won’t support profiles yet, a feature that typically allows for various members of a household to keep their viewing and recommendations separate. That feature is also on the roadmap, Peacock said.
  • Parental controls are managed by a PIN.
  • Mobile downloads are available for those who subscribe to its top tier, Premium Plus.
  • The app’s user interface will be in English only. The programming on Peacock will support any language audio or subtitles tracks that come with a specific title. At launch, it’ll have some content with Spanish language tracks and subtitles. 

What’s up with that name? 

Peacock is a nod to NBC’s longtime logo and mascot. Strauss said that calling the service Peacock was meant as an homage to NBC, but he stressed that the service is licensing lots of non-NBC content too. 

“We did not call this service NBC Plus. We called it Peacock. In many ways, that was by design,” he said. “Pay homage to NBCUniversal but not be limited to just NBCUniversal content.” 

At the service’s unveiling in January, writer, producer and actress Tina Fey said she originally wanted the title of 30 Rock to be The Peacock. “I was told it was a hard ‘no,’ and that it would not pass the censors,” she said. “And here we are.”

What happens to NBC programming on Hulu? 

For now, NBC’s shows are still streaming on Hulu, but they’ll be disappearing soon.

The Office started streaming on Peacock at the beginning of 2021. NBC

NBC was a partner in Hulu for years, but NBCUniversal-owner Comcast struck a deal with Disney to give it control of Hulu. That deal included terms that essentially allowed NBC to have programming stream both on Hulu and on Peacock at the same time.

But in March, NBCUniversal officially terminated its next-day TV streaming deal with Hulu. That means that in late September, NBC shows won’t be available to stream on Hulu the day after they air. Past episodes will be disappearing from Peacock’s library too. 

Shows and movies: What’s available to watch on Peacock?

Since Peacock has a free tier, the easiest way to get a sense of what’s on Peacock is to browse the service itself, although you’ll need to register an account with an email address to do so. If you don’t want to hand over an email, you can also check third-party sites like Reelgood, which track streaming services’ catalogs, to get a sense of what’s available to watch. 

Generally speaking, the service’s programming leans into NBCUniversal’s back catalog and its franchises, but there are a couple of complexities there too. 

Peacock is licensing programming from other companies. A deal with Paramount, for example, gives Peacock past seasons of Yellowstone, the hit cowboy drama on the Paramount Network.

Peacock’s free tier includes: 

  • Next-day access to current seasons of NBC broadcast shows in their first season, known as freshmen series.
  • Next-week access (i.e., one week after episodes air) to current seasons of returning NBC broadcast shows.
  • Select episodes of marquee Peacock originals (but not full seasons).
  • Curated genre channels, which NBC has characterized as things like SNL Vault, Family Movie Night and Olympic Profiles.
  • Selections of classic series and popular movies.
  • Curated daily news and sports programming, including the Olympics.
  • Spanish-language content.

With the Premium membership, you basically get an all-access pass. It includes everything on the free tier plus: 

  • Full seasons of Peacock originals.
  • Next-day access to current seasons of returning NBC broadcast shows.
  • Early access to NBC’s late-night talk shows. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will stream early on Peacock and Late Night with Seth Meyers at 8 p.m. ET — but this perk will begin only when the shows return to in-studio production.
  • Full access to Peacock’s library of shows and movies.
  • Additional sports, like Premier League soccer.

Peacock also includes live programming, including the summer and winter Olympics. Select programming from the Tokyo and Beijing Olympics streamed on the free tier, but full live Olympics coverage required a paid account. 

As far as news programming, Peacock draws from brands like NBC News, Sky News, MSNBC and CNBC. It’ll stream same-day broadcasts of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and Meet the Press with Chuck Todd; live news channels will include NBC News Now, Sky News and NBC/Sky Global News (a new channel); it’ll feature clips from Today, CNBC, MSNBC, E! News, NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press; and it’ll widen into original content from the Meet the Press franchise, investigative documentaries including full seasons of Dateline and Lock Up, and library documentaries from NBC News and CNBC.

For its originals, the company generally tends to rely on new series from talent with a long track record at NBC, like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling. It’s also betting on reboots of shows in its catalog with an enduring appeal. It’s already announced a revival of Battlestar Galactica (itself a reboot of the 1970s sci-fi series) by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and released reboots of Punky Brewster, Saved by the Bell and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. According to Deadline, NBCUniversal hoped to make a reboot of The Office, which itself was a remake of a British series. 

But not all Peacock’s original programming comes straight from NBCUniversal’s family tree. Some original titles, like Brave New World, are fresh projects just for Peacock. 


NEWS RELATED

Samsung is relaunching the Galaxy Buds 2 and Buds Live in new Onyx color

Although the Galaxy A33 and A53 have leaked left and right, Samsung has somehow managed to save at least one thing for today’s live unveiling. Namely, the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Live earbuds are getting a rerelease later in April, with a new color coming to complement ...

View more: Samsung is relaunching the Galaxy Buds 2 and Buds Live in new Onyx color

Galaxy A53 starts at $449 in the US, pre-orders get free Galaxy Buds Live

Samsung unveiled its new mid-range smartphones today. The Galaxy A53 5G is without a doubt the star of today’s show. This is one of Samsung’s most important devices. The Galaxy A5x models tend to sell incredibly well across the globe. The US is no different. Samsung’s mid-range series has ...

View more: Galaxy A53 starts at $449 in the US, pre-orders get free Galaxy Buds Live

2022 Samsung TVs now on sale, including its first QD-OLED TV

The 2022 Samsung TVs were showcased earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company launched new models across its entire lineup, including the lifestyle series. Samsung also showed off its first QD-OLED TV at the event. Samsung has now put its latest TVs on ...

View more: 2022 Samsung TVs now on sale, including its first QD-OLED TV

Pre-order Galaxy Book 2 and get a free 24-inch Odyssey curved monitor

Samsung is known for offering sweet preorder deals on its Galaxy devices. We have seen the same with the recently launched Galaxy S22 series flagships. Now, the company is opening the preorder doors for its Galaxy Book 2 laptops and 2-in-1s that it introduced alongside the Galaxy A-series at ...

View more: Pre-order Galaxy Book 2 and get a free 24-inch Odyssey curved monitor

Samsung’s giving away free Buds Live to Galaxy A53 pre-order customers

Samsung has removed the 3.5mm headphone port from the Galaxy A53, and the device doesn’t ship with a pair of wired earbuds. Thankfully, the company is making up for this as long as you’re willing to pre-order the new mid-range phone. Samsung is giving away free Galaxy Buds Live ...

View more: Samsung’s giving away free Buds Live to Galaxy A53 pre-order customers

New Galaxy S22 update that fixes performance throttling is rolling out in India

After the whole Galaxy S22 GOS (Game Optimization Service) debacle, Samsung had announced that it would let users disable GOS with a software update. The update was first released in South Korea and then in Europe. Now, the new software is rolling out in India as well. Samsung has ...

View more: New Galaxy S22 update that fixes performance throttling is rolling out in India

Samsung launches Galaxy Book 2, Galaxy Book Go laptops in India with attractive offers

Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2 laptop lineup, which was unveiled last month at MWC 2022, has now made it to Indian shores. The South Korean firm has launched six new laptops in India: Galaxy Book 2, Galaxy Book 2 360, Galaxy Book 2 Pro, Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360, Galaxy ...

View more: Samsung launches Galaxy Book 2, Galaxy Book Go laptops in India with attractive offers

Roundtable: transitioning to a zero-emission fleet

The country may have been in lockdown – but many fleets have continued to operate business as usual for the last 24 months and significant progress has been made in the transition to zero emission fleets. Wednesday 2nd March marked the first live Greenfleet roundtable of 2022, and it was ...

View more: Roundtable: transitioning to a zero-emission fleet

To me, the Galaxy Note series ceased to be an option in 2020

Realme GT 2 Pro review: Ignore it at your peril

Samsung expects to see crazy demand for the Galaxy Z Flip 4

Why today’s Wordle answer is so hard, according to the experts

Daily Deal: The Galaxy Z Flip 3 gets an exciting 10% discount

Your Galaxy Buds 2 are getting a new firmare update today

Samsung will fix your busted Galaxy S and Note screen for just $100

Samsung Galaxy A33 specs and price just leaked ahead of Samsung event

One UI 4.1 — here's all the Galaxy S22 features coming to your Samsung phone

Samsung hasn’t made the Galaxy S22 series any easier to repair

This Galaxy Z Fold 4 design concept could be close to the real deal

Samsung Knox Cloud services will be down temporarily

OTHER NEWS