NBC is giving Comcast customers and early look at its streaming service Peacock this week, but many of the originals set to hit the platform are being delayed until as late as next year according to Matt Strauss, chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises.
The delay is a direct result of nationwide production shutdowns over the current health crisis that is Covid-19. Social distancing and shelt3er in place orders have halted scheduled production and are causing unprecedented delays in the industry.
“The majority of our original productions have been paused,” Strauss said. “This will materially limit our original slate at launch and through 2020.” Strauss said “significant amount” of the Peacock originals scheduled for this year are being delayed into 2021. “We’re unclear when things are exactly going to be back to normal.”
That means content on Peacock will be well known titles like “Parks and Recreation,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Cheers,” and “Two and a Half Men.” Movies like “E.T.,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” and “Schindler’s List” will also be available. So while 15,000 hours of content will be available at launch, a big draw to getting subscribers to a new streaming service is the original content.
Peacock is launching an early preview of the premium tier subscription this week beginning April 15. The preview will be available at no added cost to about 31.5 million Comcast TV and broadband customers in the U.S.
Xfinity X1 and Flex, the video service for broadband-only customers will get the service starting Tuesday, with other Comcast subscribers expected to get availability by the end of April. Peacock will launch nationwide on July 15, but there are rumors that could be moved up.
There will be a free version available to all subscribers, an ad-supported tier for $4.99/month, and an ad-free tier for $9.99/month. Cox and Comcast customers will have free access to Peacock Premium with ads, which includes 15,000 hours of programming, and can pay $5 per month for the ad-free version.
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