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Peacock TV: how to watch for free, devices, shows, cost, movies and more

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(Image credit: NBC Universal)
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Peacock TV is available now in the US, and it's the latest big new streaming service of 2020. Far beyond the NBC app found on smartphones and tablets now, Peacock offers video on demand in the same vein as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, but with a focus on content from the NBC network. 

The big difference, though, is that Peacock has a free tier featuring over 13,000 hours of content, alongside more traditional paid tiers that unlock a lot more to watch. And having sampled the free tier, it looks pretty impressive so far, considering that signing up to Peacock TV is extremely easy.

Peacock's content is very NBC heavy, with the likes of Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and Battlestar Galactica available to stream now on the free tier, while classics like Frasier and Cheers are only available in full on Peacock's premium plan. Original shows include Brave New World and David Schwimmer comedy Intelligence, with the NBC series AP Bio moving to Peacock later this year, too. A bunch of movies are available to stream at launch, as well, including the first three Jurassic Park films.

In 2021, things really get interesting when The Office leaves Netflix after years and arrives exclusively on Peacock, which is a huge win for the platform. 

NBC Peacock: key info

What is it? NBC's new streaming service, which features many of its classic sitcoms as well as movies, TV dramas and original content.
When did it release? July 15, 2020.
How much does it cost? Free (ad-supported), $4.99 (ad-supported) or $9.99, with additional programming on the paid tiers.
Will it launch outside the US? There are no announced plans for an international launch right now. 

There are three Peacock TV price tiers (free, $4.99 and $9.99 per month) that we’ll explain in more detail below. We'll explain which kinds of shows and movies you can expect across the different tiers, so you can decide which makes sense to you.

Can NBC’s catalogue of shows stand up to streaming behemoths like Netflix, Hulu and streaming newcomer Disney Plus in the long run? That's a big question mark. Here’s everything we know about Peacock TV at launch, including its cost, supported devices, exclusive shows and more.

Peacock TV release date 

Peacock is out now, as of July 15 in the US.

Peacock TV: how to watch for free now

All you have to do to watch Peacock TV for free is head here (opens in new tab), and create an account by entering an email and password. You don't need to do anything else to access the free tier, but the service is only available in the US.

Peacock TV cost: free and paid tiers explained

NBC released Peacock with three pricing tiers - one free tier and two premium tiers. The latter include one with ads and one without. Check out the full breakdown of the differences in content between each tier further down this page, but here are the differences between each tier, and the monthly cost for each, and what they get you:

Peacock Free

  • 13,000 hours of content, but not full series.
  • A wide variety of movies, NBC shows, dramas, and reality shows.
  • Four exclusive Premier League matches on launch day, US Open and Women's Open. Championship coverage. NFL Wild Card Playoff game and Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
  • Ads play during content.
  • NBC shows a week after they air.

Peacock Premium

  • $4.99 per month with ads, $9.99 without (or $4.99 for Xfinity subscribers).
  • 20,000 hours of content.
  • Peacock Originals like Brave New World, The Capture, and Intelligence.
  • Movies likes Shrek, Ted, and You, Me & Dupree.
  • NBC shows a day after they air.
  • Late Night With Seth Meyers and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon available at 8pm ET.
  • 175 Premier League matches in 2020/21 season, Tour De France, La Vuelta, and WWE coverage.

(Image credit: NBCUniversal)

Peacock TV apps and devices

These are the supported devices we know about for Peacock as of launch:

  • iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD
  • Android, including Android TV and Chromecast
  • Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and PS4
  • Vizio Smartcast
  • LG Smart TVs
  • Comcast Xfinity X1 and Flex

Roku and Fire TV device owners are going to miss out at launch, according to this NBC News story (opens in new tab). This was a problem with HBO Max's launch, too.

Supported devices, include iOS and Android mobile apps, Apple TV boxes, and support for game consoles like Xbox One and Xbox One S - although there's no word yet on PS5 (opens in new tab) or Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) support. You can also expect to view Peacock content on Vizio SmartCast TVs, LG Smart TVs, and Chromecast dongles.

Peacock TV free trial: is there one?

Yes, there's a 7-day Peacock TV free trial for the premium tier. You can choose it from the plan picker page here (opens in new tab).

As mentioned, too, Android and Android TV users will have free access to the Premium tier until October 15, 2020.

Peacock TV shows, movies and sports content

The shows and movies you get on Peacock TV depend on whether you're with the free or premium tiers. Movies on the free tier at launch include the Bourne trilogy, Phantom Thread, Jurassic Park, American Psycho, Tully, The Matrix Trilogy, Vertigo, Man on the Moon, The Blair Witch Project, The Birds and The Mummy. 

Going with the premium tier unlocks more movies like Ted, Shrek, Children of Men and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Honestly, at first glance, the movie selection for free users looks good enough that you won't necessarily be incentivized to spend extra to watch more, which is great.

TV shows are arguably a bigger deal for Peacock, though, with The Office joining the service after it leaves Netflix in 2021. Even at launch, the line-up is pretty impressive for free users. We'll explain more below.

Free tier shows

These are some of the shows you can watch in full at launch on Peacock TV without subscribing to the premium tier:

30 Rock, This is Us, The Blacklist, Parks and Recreation, Saved by the Bell, Punky Brewster, Everybody Hates Chris, Friday Night Lights, Downton Abbey, Parenthood, Royal Pains, Battlestar Galactica (the modern version), Murder She Wrote, Suits, Psych, Columbo, The Game, Chicago Fire (season 1), Monk, Heroes, Unsolved Mysteries, Pawn Stars and The Rockford Files. 

Some shows you can sample for free without spending any money. The free tier of Peacock TV, for example, comes with just the first two seasons of Law & Order SVU, and hit cable drama Yellowstone offers one episode of season one in the free section. If you want to continue, though, you'll have to pay.

Premium tier shows

If you're willing to spend $4.99 or more, the TV offering ramps up a little. Here's a sample what you can get on Peacock TV's Premium tier from launch:

Superstore, Two and a Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Cheers, House, Yellowstone, Ray Donovan, The King of Queens, Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, George Lopez, American Ninja Warrior and Swedish Dicks.

If you want to watch NBC shows the day after they air, too, you'll want the Premium Tier. 

Live TV events
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers (on at an earlier time), NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Premier League matches, the Ryder Cup and the Olympics.

Peacock TV originals available at launch

(Image credit: Sky/Now TV)

In a crowded streaming market, new platforms need to start with a bang. Peacock's launch lineup includes the extremely promising Brave New World, based on the seminal sci-fi novel by Aldous Huxley, so this looks a solid start. The following originals are exclusive to the Premium tier, but you can watch a few free episodes to get you started. Here are the exclusive shows to come to Peacock at launch:

  • Brave New World: Based on Aldous Huxley's classic sci-fi novel, starring Demi Moore and Alden Ehrenreich.
  • The Capture: Featuring Laura Haddock (White Lines), this UK detective drama follows a soldier accused of a crime, which descends into a complex conspiracy.
  • Curious George: An animated series inspired by the classic children's books.
  • Where's Waldo: An animated caper based on the classic picture books.
  • Psych 2: Lassie Come Home: TV movie sequel about a man pretending to be psychic to solve crimes.
  • Intelligence: Comedy with David Schwimmer as the US liaison to a UK cyber crimes unit. 
  • Cleopatra in Space: Based on a graphic novel series, an animated series based on the untold stories of an Egyptian legend.
  • In Deep with Ryan Lochte: Reality series documenting the swimmer's efforts to rejoin the Olympic team.
  • Lost Speedways with Dale Earnhardt Jr.: An examination of the left-behind speedways of racing history with the ex-Nascar driver.

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

These are some of the originals and reboots planned for the future on Peacock TV: Dr. Death, Battlestar Galactica reboot, Angelyne, One of Us Is Lying, Rutherford Falls, Straight Talk, Saved By the Bell, Punky Brewster, Armas de Mujer, AP Bio, Hitmen, Hart to Hart, Girls5Eva, Code 404, Lady Parts.

Peacock TV: sports content explained

Sports are a clear focus of the Peacock offering. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are both coming to Peacock in 2021, with a dedicated 24/7 Olympic Channel covering everything in the run up to the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

Over 175 Premier League matches from the 2020/2021 will also be shown on Peacock starting in September, including over 140 matches that won't otherwise be on US TV. It will show the Ryder Cup, too, if you're a big golf fan. 

Expect sports-based unscripted originals, too, like NBA collaboration Dream Team 2020, which focuses on the USA's basketball team in the run-up to The Olympics.

Can Peacock take on Netflix and everything else?

Peacock's free tier gives it a massive advantage in grabbing attention, given how overcrowded the streaming market has gotten in the past few years. It'll be interesting to see how this free offering develops over time compared to its premium tiers.

What we're expecting over time is that Peacock TV will function as a service that's somewhere between Hulu and Disney Plus - a decent library of shows, but without the onslaught of originals seen on Netflix. The pricing seems to tell that story. 

Growing that library over time will be key, but there are worse things to have in your back pocket than the complete run of The Office...

  • Here's everything we know about HBO Max

Harry Shepherd is a Guides Editor for PC Gamer at Future. He is a writer and editor with more than two years experience specialising in SEO and guides.