TV Answer Man, I saw something on Facebook about Comcast eliminating our free Peacock on our Xfinity video plan. Is that true? Why would they do that to us? — Patty, Chicago.
Patty, Comcast’s Xfinity TV service has provided Peacock’s $4.99 monthly Premium plan for free to video subscribers as well as Internet customers since the streaming service launched in July 2020. However, the free lunch is coming to an end.
Variety reports that Peacock’s Premium plan will no longer be included in existing Comcast Xfinity video and Internet packages, effective June 26, 2023. In addition, new Xfinity customers who sign up after April 3 will be offered the Premium plan for free for six months. However, they will have to subscribe after that term, although Variety writes that it will be a discounted rate.
The publication says existing customers will also be offered a discounted rate which will be revealed later. (The news that Comcast was ending free Peacock was first posted on a Reddit message board. Variety confirmed the details with an NBC spokesperson. NBC, owned by Comcast, operates Peacock.)
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The decision is not terribly surprising. Comcast and NBC executives have strongly hinted for months that the bundled free Peacock would soon end as the company looks to solidify the streamer’s business. NBC also eliminated a free Peacock offering earlier this year. (Peacock now has two plans — the ads-included Premium for $4.99 a month and the ads-free Premium Plus for $9.99 a month.)
Charter’s Spectrum TV also bundles free Peacock Premium with some of its packages as part of a deal with Comcast. It’s unclear if that program will end when the Xfinity change is made.
Patty, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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Comcast already owns a FAST/AVOD service called Xumo Play which is similar to Pluto TV. They are probably considering using it, if they are not already, as a platform to upsell Peacock. They are also planning to offer a streaming box via Walmart with Xumo Play as the base. Not sure why as Xumo Play is available on all the major streaming gadgets (Roku, Fire TV, Android).