Comcast Corp's NBCUniversal will name its upcoming streaming service 'Peacock', offering a broad slate of original content, including 'Dr Death' starring Emmy and Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin. (Shutterstock/JHVEPhoto)
NBCUniversal on Thursday said its streaming service Peacock will launch in the US soon with tiered offerings ranging from free to $10 monthly.
NBCUniversal unveiled details about the long-anticipated service in a presentation to investors in New York.
Peacock will be available to Comcast cable customers on April 15, tax deadline day in the US, and launch for everyone else in the country three months later, according to a release.
"Peacock will provide consumers with a destination that goes beyond movies and television, aggregating a variety of content that fans want on one service,” said Peacock chairman Matt Strauss.
"By delivering timely and topical content like breaking news, live sports, and watercooler moments from late night, Peacock is uniquely bringing a pulse to the world of streaming that does not exist in today’s marketplace."
The streaming television war is entering a new phase as titans Apple and Disney take direct aim at market leader Netflix, vying for consumers abandoning their cable TV bundles for on-demand services.
The shift away from "linear" television will escalate this year with powerful new entrants including Peacock and a Quibi service promising short-form content tailed specifically for viewing on smartphones.
The new landscape has important implications for longtime segment leader Netflix, which is now locked in a battle with deep-pocketed rivals for actors, directors and producers to win and keep audiences.
An Apple TV+ service launched late last year in more than 100 countries at $4.99 per month. Apple is spending heavily on new content and promises a "powerful and inspiring lineup of original shows, movies and documentaries."
Entertainment colossus Disney launched its own online streaming service, chock full of popular franchises such as "Star Wars" and Marvel superheroes in the US, Canada and the Netherlands, with a promise of expanding to the world.
As well as offering Disney's enormous back catalog, including all animated films and Pixar movies within its first year, fresh shows have been commissioned shows. It cost $6.99 a month in the US.
More competition looms, as AT&T's WarnerMedia will launch its "HBO Max" this year, having reclaimed the rights from Netflix to stream its popular television comedy Friends.
Tiered services offered by Peacock will range from a free version supported by advertising to an ad-free offering costing $10 monthly, according to NBCUniversal.
"This is a very exciting time for our company, as we chart the future of entertainment," said NBCUniversal chairman Steve Burke.
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