NBC is the latest network to get into the over-the-top streaming game with the upcoming launch of Peacock. On Thursday, NBC announced plenty of details about the service, including its launch date (April 15th for Comcast X1 and Flex subscribers, July 15th for everyone else), pricing (ranging from free to $9.99, depending on what you’re looking for), and content (over 15,000 hours of programming, including the OG Law & Order).
But what we’re interested in is the sports aspect of Peacock, and yes, there will be reasons for sports fans to subscribe to Peacock. Notably, Peacock will feature over 140 live Premier League matches, Olympics coverage (including live streams of both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies), and the Ryder Cup.
Here are more details, via Deadline.
Peacock will offer extensive coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, some of it exclusive. Peacock will feature live coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies before they air on NBC in primetime. It will also stream three daily Olympic shows. That lineup includes Tokyo Live, with live coverage of one particularly compelling event from the day; Tokyo Daily Digest, with midday highlights; and Tokyo Tonight, a complement to the primetime show that is designed to help audiences catch up on the day’s events.
Beginning in August 2020, Peacock will carry 2,000 hours of Premier League coverage, including more than 140 matches that aren’t available on television, as well as clips and replays.
The Ryder Cup golf tournament will be coming to the service in September 2020.
Live access to the Opening Ceremonies has been a sore subject over the years for Olympics viewers. The 2018 Opening Ceremonies from PyeongChang were streamed live, but the 2016 Ceremonies from Rio were not, much like 2012 from London and 2014 from Sochi. The three daily shows seem like more of a bonus for Peacock subscribers rather than a draw for people who just want live event coverage. I’m waited with baited breath for NBC’s announcement of the Olympics Pass.
The Premier League note is incredibly interesting to me, because it seems like the live matches included on NBC’s Premier League Pass (which launched in 2017) will be the ones available on Peacock. Assuming NBC doesn’t discontinue the Premier League Pass over the summer, you can pay $40 (using the pricing for this season) for the live matches, $65 for the live matches and shoulder programming, or between nothing and $9.99 a month for Peacock to get those matches, plus the full Peacock catalog. It isn’t necessarily a better deal (depending on how much you’re paying for Peacock), but you’re getting more than *just* the Premier League for your money, which seems like a better value.
The note on the Ryder Cup also really can’t be expanded on too much right now, because of the lack of details. Live coverage would be great news for cord cutters who also like golf.
However, all of the details about Peacock that have been revealed omit four of NBC’s three biggest sports properties: the NFL, NHL, Notre Dame football, and NASCAR. Will any of them have a presence on Peacock? I’d assume live streaming for all four is out of the question, especially since the Olympics and Premier League coverage is for stuff that isn’t airing live on linear TV. Will extra shoulder programming be added? In addition, will more of NBC Sports Gold’s “Pass” programming (PGA Tour Live, Trackpass, Rugby Pass, and so on) be integrated into Peacock as the launch approaches?
Right now, we have more questions than answers, but it’s at least encouraging to see that Peacock won’t be a total bust for sports fans.