What Is NBCUniversal's Peacock?

This streaming service has loads of binge-worthy content

NBCUniversal's Peacock ad-supported streaming service features an impressive array of movies, iconic TV shows, live sports, original programming, news updates, premium channels, and more. Here's a look at how Peacock works, how to access the service, and what plans are available.

NBCUniversal originally planned to launch Peacock in conjunction with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo while live-streaming the games. The coronavirus pandemic forced an Olympics postponement, but NBCUniversal launched Peacock on schedule.

A hotel guest streams Peacock on a laptop.
Yifei Fang / Moment / Getty Images

How to Watch NBCUniversal's Peacock Service

There are several options for watching Peacock content, and NBCUniversal plans to roll out more compatible platforms in the future.

Watch Peacock from its website using the Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari web browsers, or watch on your mobile device using Peacock's iOS or Android app. Access Peacock from Android-enabled smart TVs, LG and Vizio smart TVs, Apple TVs with tvOS 11 or above, Chromecast devices, and the Xbox One.

Peacock is available through Cox and Xfinity cable set-top boxes. If you subscribe to Xfinity and have an X1 set-top box or a Flex device, you have access to Peacock's Premium tier (normally $4.99) for free. Cox Contour and Contour Stream Player customers get Peacock Premium for free until 2021.

Visit Peacock for a full list of compatible devices and specifications, and to check if it supports new platforms.

What Content Does NBCUniversal's Peacock Offer?

TV shows, movies, channels, and original content abound on Peacock.

TV Shows

NBC shows anchor Peacock's lineup, including comedy favorites like Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and Saturday Night Live, which are available to stream anytime. If you're in the mood for some substance, stream episodes of NBC dramas, including Dateline, This Is Us, and Friday Night Lights, anytime you like. Stream daily news broadcasts from NBC and MSBC, as well.

Parks and Recreation is a comedy on Peacock

When you upgrade to a Premium Peacock tier, you can access current NBC programming the day after it airs.

Movies

An impressive slew of Universal movie favorites is also on hand, including everything from The Bourne Identity and the Jurassic Park franchise to The Bride of Frankenstein and Shrek.

Movie categories include Rotten Tomatoes-Approved, Comic Relief, Serious Cinema, Action-Adventure, Indies, Thrillers and Suspense, and more.

The Bourne Identity on Peacock

Original Content

Peacock's big bet is on original content. Like Netflix, Peacock invests in big-budget original talent and projects, including reboots of Battlestar Galactica, Punky Brewster, and Saved by the Bell. New original scripted and unscripted series are available, and more are in the works. Highly anticipated shows include Tina Fey's Girls5Eva and Mindy Kaling's Expecting.

The cast of Battlestar Galactica
NBCUniversal

Children's Programming, Sports, and Channels

Children's programming is also a huge part of Peacock, with animated adventures like Curious George, original programming like Life Hacks for Kids, movies, and more.

Peacock's sports offerings are also impressive, with documentaries, highlights, specials, and live sports events, including Premier League matches.

Peacock Channels are curated content feeds from every genre imaginable. Some highlights include SNL Vault, which hosts the series' funniest clips, and Reality Check-In, which revisits dramatic moments from famous reality shows.

SNL Vault Channel on Peacock

NBCUniversal Peacock Plans

Not all of this content is available with a Peacock free membership. There's a lot of content to watch for free on Peacock, but there are some limitations. For example, you can't watch Peacock originals or see NBC shows the day after they air.

When you upgrade to Peacock Premium for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, you can access all Peacock's content, including full seasons of original series, original movies, and live sports.

Upgrading to Peacock Premium Plus costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, and you'll see few ads. There's no way to guarantee an ad-free experience with Peacock because its streaming agreements vary. Some programming has ads, though this is limited with Premium Plus.

You get a free seven-day trial when you upgrade to Premium or Premium Plus, so you have time to cancel if you change your mind.

Both Hulu and CBS All Access have the same caveat about ads in their paid plans.

Account User Numbers and Internet Speeds

Peacock allows three concurrent streams per account, no matter what tier you're on. So three members of your household can watch three separate programs simultaneously.

Watch out for buffering if your internet speeds lag. The service recommends a minimum of 2.5 Mbps for buffer-free streaming. However, you may need a stronger connection if there are heavy demands on your household's internet service.

How to Create a Peacock Account and Start Watching

Getting started with Peacock is easy. Try it out for free, and then decide if a Premium or Premium Plus account is worth it for you.

  1. Go to the Peacock website and select Start Watching Now.

    The Start Watching Now button on Peacock's homepage
  2. On the Create an account page, enter your email and password, agree to the Terms of Use, then select Create Account.

    On the Create an Account page, enter your email and password, agree to the Terms of Use, and select Create Account.
  3. Verify your email with the link Peacock sends you.

  4. Select Start Watching to get started.

    The Start Watching button
  5. Select Channels to browse Peacock's curated feeds and live programming.

    The Channels tab on Peacock
  6. Select Browse to look through an assortment of Peacock offerings.

    The Browse button on Peacock
  7. Select Featured to see featured programming.

    The Featured tab on Peacock
  8. Select TV Shows to see available television shows.

    The TV Shows tab in Peacock
  9. Select Movies to browse movies according to category.

    The Movies tab on Peacock
  10. Select Kids to see children's movies and shows.

    The Kids heading on Peacock
  11. Select News to browse headlines, documentaries, CNBC, NBC news, and more.

    The News tab on Peacock
  12. Select Sports to browse live events, highlights, documentaries, and more.

    The Sports tab on Peacock
  13. Select Latino for Spanish-language movies, TV shows, and more.

    The Latino tab on Peacock

How to Upgrade to Peacock Premium or Premium Plus

When you upgrade your Peacock account, you automatically start a free seven-day trial. You're charged if you don't cancel before the end of the trial.

  1. To upgrade to Premium or Premium Plus, select your profile icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Upgrade to Premium.

    The Upgrade to Premium button
  2. Select Peacock Premium or Peacock Premium Plus, and then select Start 7-Day Free Trial.

    Choose a plan to upgrade Peacock
  3. Enter your payment details and select Pay Now. You're charged after the seven-day free trial period ends.

    Enter your payment details and select Pay Now.