It’s another new streaming service day! Woo hoo! Peacock, NBCUniversal’s entry into the field, had a soft roll out Tuesday night and is officially available today on many but not all devices. There are three subscription levels for the service:
- Free, with ads and limited access to everything on the service.
- $4.99 a month for Peacock Premium with limited ads but access to all content.
- $9.99 a month for Peacock Premium Ad-Free which has no ads and access to all content.
There are also yearly plans of $49.99 or $99.99.
For this article I am only looking at the Free content available on launch day.
Before talking about all the great content, let’s get the big problem out of the way first. As of launch there is no way to watch Peacock on a Roku or Amazon’s Fire TV. This is a similar problem that HBO Max has had since May. The content providers cannot come to an agreement with the platforms over money. According to a Variety article, “Roku takes a standard 20% cut of subscription fees, while Amazon’s take is believed to range from 15%-45%.)
Personally I put the blame on the content providers. The more ways a product is available, the more opportunities for people to purchase them. By not being available on two of the biggest platforms that eliminates any of those users from subscribing. An 80/20 split of zero is still zero.
Onto the free version of the app. I downloaded this easily through the app store then created an account with my email and a password. Within about two minutes I was active in the free version of the app. The screen will load with all of the featured content up front. On the top is a menu bar with options for: Channels. Browse. Featured. TV Shows. Movies. Kids. News. Sports. Latino.
Channels has an interesting line up and is set up similar to Pluto TV. Many of the biggest shows have a dedicated channel that plays episodes all day. Saturday Night Live, The Office, Hell’s Kitchen, and more. Click on that channel and an episode is playing as if you were flipping TV channels at home. What surprised me is the amount of live soccer across multiple channels. As I write this Manchester City vs. Bournemouth is on. I’m not a sports guy but depending on broadcast rights this could be a boon for sports fans. Especially for the Olympics. One of the biggest complaints about the Olympics is the cherry picking for which events receive coverage. For every event on prime time there are dozens that aren’t seen and many fans upset by that decision. Peacock could provide a way to watch every event live.
My favorite find so far in the channels section is “80’s Mixtape”. Currently playing Greatest American Hero and up next, Hunter. For Retro Streaming fans, this channel would be the best one to throw on in the background.
Speaking of Retro Streaming, right now Peacock has the new movie, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home. We told you about the reboots/sequels for Saved by the Bell, Punky Brewster, and Battlestar Galactica earlier this year but those have not debuted yet. But if this streaming service is a success there will no doubt be more.
Current shows will be available the next day, much like the Hulu model. Some shows will be available to all but others will only be for those with a subscription. If the content falls under one of the paid categories a little Peacock feather is in the top left corner. This was an easy way for me to skim through for free content and not become upset when a show was not available to me.
One of the big reasons we all love these company specific streaming services is discovering what they found in their archives. And Peacock is already featuring some treasures. As with most streaming services, content will most likely come and go. Everything in this article was available at the time of writing. So let’s get into the crazy retro and forgotten content.
For TV shows: 21 Jump Street, Airwolf, Alfred Hitchcock Hour (Premium), Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Battlestar Galactica mini series and series. The Beethoven cartoon. Did you know there was a cartoon featuring that big dog? Many generations of Care Bears shows. Cheers. Code Monkeys from G4! Fievel’s American Tales cartoon series! Frasier, Greatest American Hero, Heroes, Highlander (one season), Hunter. Classic Johnny Carson episodes. Leave it to Beaver. Some kids cartoon called Legend of the Dragon. I don’t know what this is but I’ve already added it to my list. 12 seasons of Murder, She Wrote. Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. Punky Brewster. Roger Ramjet. Sabrina the Teenage Witch animated series. Saved by the Bell including the College Years and the TV movies. Sliders. The Carol Burnett Show. The Munsters. The New Adventures of He-Man. Woody Woodpecker. The Rockford Files. The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat. 12 seasons of Unsolved Mysteries. Years of free content.
I’m most excited for two things. The Savage Dragon is on here. The Image comic series adapted for a cartoon that lasted two seasons on USA Network. No home media release, and previously only bad VHS recordings on YouTube were available. This is my next marathon series. Also, Code Monkeys is on here. This was an animated show on the late G4 channel. This show on Peacock gives a slight chance that something will be done with the G4 archives. Attack of the Show, X-Play, documentaries. Even the dubbed original Ninja Warrior.
And all of that was just the TV shows! Let’s take a quick look at some retro and cult movies available today.
One of the biggest features is the Universal Monsters library. It is not complete. Some fall under Premium but most are free. This could expand in the next few months and if they’re smart a big push in October. One of my all time favorite movies, Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein is on here as well as more of their movies.
On the other side of horror, there are a lot of Asylum films here. 2 Headed Shark Attack, Almighty Thor, Jurassic City. If you’ve walked a Walmart DVD section in the last few years you’ve seen these titles.
All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records. American Psycho, Bird on a Wire, Brewster’s Millions, Doctor Detroit! Fletch and Fletch Lives. Howard the Duck. The original Jurassic Park trilogy. King Ralph! Matinee (I’ve been meaning to watch this forever). Psycho. Some R.L. Stine movies. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby’s “Road to” series. Shrek. Sleepaway Camp. Spawn. The Birds. Blair Witch 1 and 2. Bourne trilogy. The Incredible Shrinking Man and The Incredible Shrinking Woman. Matrix trilogy. Mummy 1 and 2.
There are a lot of movies that have later sequels but not the original. Slap Shot 2 and 3 but not the first one, for example. Also, there are already reports of some content (Jurassic Park, Matrix) leaving at the end of the month to most likely cycle through other streaming services until landing back here.
I’m positive some of these shows were not available last night when I started looking and have been added since. Either I was far more tired than I thought and missed them, or Peacock is already adding fresh content daily. I am sure Spawn did not show up last night because I would have watched it immediately.
At this point there is too much content to get through for free before I would have to consider paying for one of the higher tiers. All of the shows and movies I’ve listed above would take years to watch. I would consider paying more for Olympic content but that’s a decision for next year at the earliest. Also, and this is just my own mind, I have no insider knowledge at all. NBC for years has had various deals with WWE and it is constantly rumored that WWE wants to sell their Network off to another streaming service. Between the NBC and USA archives which could easily add in Saturday Night’s Main Event or Raw then add on the platform’s streaming live sports channels and this could be a pairing worth spending money on.
Just one more thing…. 10 seasons of Columbo.
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