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NBCU's streaming service to feature free, tiered services

NBCUniversal Media LLC's new video-on-demand service will debut for Comcast Corp. customers on April 15 before making its national debut July 15.

Peacock will come in three versions: a free, ad-supported service; a more robust, ad-supported edition; and an ad-free offering. The premium ad-supported service will be free for Comcast and Cox Communications Inc. customers but will cost $4.99 per month for everyone else. Customers of the two cable operators can upgrade to an ad-free version for $5.00; non-Comcast and Cox subscribers will pay $9.99 for the same ad-free service.

Comcast's cable and internet-only customers will have access to Peacock Premium on April 15. Cox customers will get access July 15.

Peacock Premium will feature 15,000 hours of content, comprising 600 movies and 400 TV series. The free offering will provide users with more than 7,500 hours of programming, including next-day access to current seasons of freshman broadcast shows, complete classic series, popular movies, curated daily news and sports programming including the Olympics, Spanish-language content, select episodes of marquee Peacock originals and tent-pole series, as well as curated Peacock streaming genre channels. The company expects to reach 30 million to 35 million active accounts by 2024.

Peacock's ad-free offering joins the growing streaming field at a mid-level price point. Netflix Inc.'s standard package retails for $12.99 per month, while its most expensive tier, which allows for four concurrent users in HD and Ultra HD, is $15.99 a month. Netflix has bolstered its own customer count via a partnership with T-Mobile US Inc., which includes a subscription to the streaming leader through the telco's unlimited family plan.

The Walt Disney Co.'s Disney+, which bowed Nov. 12, 2019, is available at a retail price of $6.99 per month, or $69.99 annually. Disney+ is also bundled with Hulu LLC basic subscription video-on-demand service and ESPN+ at $12.99 per month. Disney has a promotional deal with Verizon Communications Inc. in which the streaming service is available free for a year to the telco's unlimited wireless customers, as well as to new Fios residential broadband and 5G home internet subscribers.

Apple Inc.'s Apple TV+, which bowed Nov. 1, 2019, retails for $4.99 per month and is available for free for one year to all consumers buying an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac or Apple TV.

Slated to launch in May at $14.99 per month, Warner Media's HBO Max could have 10 million AT&T Inc.-eligible customers sign right into the streaming services as it debuts.