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You can now stream Peacock for free — just not on Roku or Fire TV

Joe Supan

Jul 15, 2020 — 5 min read

This streaming service has an excellent library of current and classic NBC shows you can stream for free, but the devices you can use it with are limited.

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  • Peacock has a free tier with limited content, a $5/mo. plan with unlimited content and commercials and a $10/mo. plan with no commercials
  • Movies include Jurassic Park, The Matrix and Vertigo
  • Shows include Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and This Is Us
  • The Office will come to Peacock January 2021
  • Not available on Roku or Amazon Fire TV

Peacock is here. The new streaming service from NBCUniversal has been available to some Xfinity customers since April, but it’s now available — and free — to everyone. 

If you’re rolling your eyes about another streaming service, you’re not alone. Nearly half of the country says they feel frustrated by the ever-increasing number of subscriptions they need to watch their favorite shows and movies. 

As the last major streaming service to launch, Peacock seems well aware of this streaming fatigue. So instead of asking for even more of your TV budget, Peacock has made most of its content entirely free to watch. There is a paid tier for $5/mo., but for once, you won’t have to pay a dime to check out the latest streaming service. 

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How much does Peacock cost?

Peacock has three tiers: one that’s entirely free, one for $5/mo. and one for $10/mo. The free tier limits how much of Peacock’s content you’ll have access to, and has ad breaks during shows and movies. For $5/mo., you’ll get all of Peacock’s library, but you’ll still have to sit through commercials. If you upgrade to $10/mo., you can skip the ads and watch everything on the service. 


Overall, the commercials weren’t too intrusive. As we tested Peacock, we clocked about two minutes of commercials before a movie started, but none after it started. For TV shows, there were around a minute of commercials every 10 minutes or so. 

There’s another layer, too. Some Cox and Xfinity customers will be able to get the Premium tier for free or upgrade to Premium Plus for just $5/mo.  

Peacock shows and movies

Peacock has popular shows from NBC, movies from Universal Studios and a number of titles licensed from companies like ViacomCBS. And like most streaming services, it’s also producing its own original content, although much of that production has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of the highlights you can stream right now. 

Movies

According to JustWatch.com, Peacock currently has around 650 movies available to stream. That might sound like plenty, but it pales in comparison to paid streaming services like Prime Video and Netflix, which have libraries in the tens of thousands. That said, Peacock still has a number of quality movies to stream for free. Here are some of the highlights: 

  • The Blair Witch Project
  • Children of Men (paid only)
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Double Indemnity
  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall (paid only)
  • Jurassic Park
  • Phantom Thread
  • Psycho
  • Rear Window
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Shrek (paid only)
  • The Bourne series
  • The Matrix
  • Vertigo

TV shows

NBC’s lineup of binge-worthy shows is where Peacock really stands out, particularly for cord cutters. Both the free and premium tiers will have episodes and specials from current seasons of shows on NBC and Telemundo, including live shows from NBC News Now and Sky News. Peacock will also curate highlight channels with clips from Today, NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, Noticias Telemundo, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, E! News and Access Hollywood.

As for on-demand shows that you can stream anytime, Peacock also has programs that originally appeared on CBS, Showtime, the CW and BET. Here are some of the most popular titles:

  • 30 Rock
  • The Affair (paid only)
  • America’s Got Talent
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Cheers (paid only)
  • Chicago P.D.
  • Downton Abbey
  • Everybody Hates Chris
  • Everybody Loves Raymond (paid only)
  • Frasier (paid only)
  • Friday Night Lights
  • House (paid only)
  • King of Queens (paid only)
  • Law & Order (paid only)
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent (paid only)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (paid only)
  • New Amsterdam
  • Parenthood
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Ray Donovan (paid only)
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Saved by the Bell
  • This Is Us
  • Two and a Half Men (paid only)
  • Yellowstone (paid only)

Additionally, Peacock will nab the most streamed show of all time when The Office leaves Netflix in January 2021. 

What’s missing from Peacock’s free tier?

Peacock’s paid tiers have about 7,000 more hours of content than its free tier. You won’t be able to stream any of Peacock’s originals without paying, and many of its movies and shows are also behind the paywall. The paid versions will also get you next-day access to shows currently airing on NBC, while you’ll generally have to wait until the season’s over with the free version. 

You won’t be able to stream Peacock on Roku or Fire TV

Like HBO Max’s rollout in May, Peacock is pushing ahead with its launch even though many viewers won’t be able to watch it on their streaming device of choice. Roku and Amazon devices and smart TVs account for 70% of all streaming devices installed last year, and they’ll all miss out on Peacock for the time being. Here is what you can watch Peacock on: 

  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Cox set top boxes
  • Google Chromecast
  • LG Smart TV
  • Vizio TV
  • Xbox One
  • Xfinity set top boxes

The good news is this could change at any moment. “The Peacock app is ready to launch across platforms with the flip of a switch,” a Peacock spokesperson told Business Insider. But if HBO Max is any indication, these holdouts can stretch on for a while. 

Should you check out Peacock?

From Disney Plus to Quibi to HBO Max, streaming service launches have felt like a weekly occurrence for the past year. It’s hard to argue that you should add another one to the mix.  

But since Peacock has an entirely free version, there’s really nothing to lose. Chances are you’ll find more than a few things to watch. Should you upgrade to one of the paid tiers? We’d say probably not. 

As a free streaming service, Peacock is perfectly serviceable (but still probably not on par with Hoopla, Kanopy and Tubi). But for $5 or $10/mo., Peacock’s library can’t compete with the Netflixes and Hulus of the world just yet. 

For more of the latest streaming news and analysis, be sure to bookmark our Resource Center and follow our experts on Facebook and Twitter

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Joe Supan

Written by:

Joe Supan

Senior Writer, Wireless & Streaming Content

Joe oversees all things wireless and streaming for Allconnect. He has utilized thousands of data points to build a library of metrics to help users navigate these complex spaces. These in… Read more