Comcast Xfinity launches free trial of NBCUniversal streaming app Peacock

The logo for NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service, Peacock, is displayed on a computer screen on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Peacock

Get ready for a new streaming service to watch while you’re at home sheltered in place.

On Wednesday, Comcast launches a free preview of NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, called Peacock, for millions of Xfinity X1 and Flex customers nationwide.

“Now more than ever there is a need for a free quality streaming service that can provide
viewers with both the information they need to stay informed and entertainment they seek to escape the moment,” NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises Chairman Matt Strauss said.

Comcast has seen a spike in on-demand consumption due to folks staying at home.

“During this period compared to last year, we’ve seen a lift of approximately two hours per day per household,” Xfinity Consumer Services President Dana Strong said. “We’ve also seen a greater than 50 percent increase in VOD hours, … an increase of 25 percent in comedy viewing hours … and a 250 percent increase in the voice search for free content.”

What types of content are most people viewing during the pandemic?

“With the majority of the country at home, the demand for news and entertainment is truly at an all-time high,” Strauss said. “In addition to people binging buzzy originals, many viewers are also seeking out programming that’s comforting, familiar, even nostalgic, things that provide a feeling of normalcy and stability during an unstable moment in time.”

The free trial will roll out over the next several weeks leading up to the official national launch on July 15. At that point, Peacock Premium will cost $4.99 per month with commercials under five minutes per hour or an extra $5.00 per month for ad-free service.

“Offering Peacock Premium at no additional cost, seamlessly integrated on Xfinity X1 and Flex, is another example of our commitment to provide more value,” Strong said.

Peacock is essentially three streaming experiences in one, featuring on-demand libraries, a live TV grid of 20 linear channels and a trending tab for the latest bite-sized content.

The on-demand library includes 15,000 hours of movies and shows across all devices.

Notables include hit TV shows like “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Superstore,” “Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Saturday Night Live.”

It will also feature classics like “Cheers,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Leave it to Beaver,” “Punky Brewster,” “The Carol Burnett Show” and “The Johnny Carson Show.”

Film fans will enjoy movies like “Jurassic Park,” “Shrek,” “Meet the Parents,” “Lost in Translation,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “Ray,” “Schindler’s List,” “Children of Men” and “E.T.”

Parents will appreciate “Curious George,” “Where’s Waldo?” and “Cleopatra in Space.”

Peacock will also feature live news, sports, reality and late night with early access to Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show: At Home Edition” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

Once sports resume, you’ll also be able to stream the NFL Wild Card Playoffs, the Ryder Cup, the Premier League and the Tokyo Olympics once the games are rescheduled.

“Clearly a lot has changed in the market from what we planned a few short months ago,” Strauss said. “This will materially limit our original slate at launch and in 2020.”

However, once the shutdown ends, Peacock will have an explosion of new content.

“What was postponed in 2020 will come back even bigger in 2021,” Strauss said. “Peacock will now have two Olympics in a relatively short period of time. We’ll also have dozens of original premieres in 2021, all timed with ‘The Office’ coming to Peacock exclusively.”

To access the service, simply say “Peacock” into your Xfinity Voice Remote.

“Xfinity has incredible reach [with] 31.5 million customer relationships and extraordinary engagement [with] 9.8 billion voice commands annually and growing fast,” Strong said. “We’re the number one platform for apps. In fact, in Xfinity homes, the X1 platform is the most used TV platform for Netflix and other popular apps like Amazon Prime.”

Xfinity will soon promote Peacock with on-air spots featuring Amy Poehler.

“With Peacock, we will deliver many of the best movies and TV shows of our time — as well as timely news and topical programming — and do our part to bring people together through the power of entertainment,” Strauss said.

NBCUniversal's Matt Strauss & Comcast's Dana Strong discuss Peacock (Full Interview)

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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