How to watch Peacock TV in Australia
Peacock, the online TV streaming app from NBCUniversal, will not release in Australia, but here's how you can watch all its content.
Updated . What changed?
How's your wallet looking? A little light? If you're a mass consumer of entertainment like many Australians, you will no doubt be aware of the rapid saturation of the subscription streaming TV space.
It was more or less a three-horse race between Netflix, Foxtel Now and Stan not that long ago. However, Amazon Prime and YouTube have now doubled down on original new content, while Apple TV+, Disney+ and Kayo Sports have also entered the mix. Then, earlier in 2020, BINGE launched and really shook up the marketplace.
No one can afford them all. Even if you can, you don't have time to watch all that content.
Over in the USA, it's even worse. It also has Hulu and ESPN+ crowding the market, as well as the hugely anticipated HBO Max. Now you can add one more giant player to the mix: NBC Universal. The entertainment giant has just released its streaming TV app Peacock overseas. It's a a truly awful name, but it is the home to 1,000 TV shows and movies from the NBC and Universal libraries.
When did Peacock come out?
Peacock TV officially launched on 15 July 2020 in the US. Originally scheduled to release in April, it suffered a delay following the outbreak of COVID-19. It's named after the famous NBC logo, which features a fan of colours much like the tail of a peacock bird.
Will Peacock be available in Australia?
No, Peacock will not be available in Australia. At least, not any time in the foreseeable future. In November 2019, NBCUniversal (better known as NBCU) signed a multi-year agreement with News Corp. That agreement ensures News Corp has exclusive streaming rights to NBCU content in Australia. If there were any plans for NBCU to make Peacock available in Australia, such a deal would never have been made.
How to watch Peacock in Australia?
A streaming TV app is nothing more than a collection of content. To watch Peacock in Australia, what you really need to know is which local service contains the NBCU collection of content. As mentioned, News Corp has the rights to show all of NBCU's content in Australia and it owns three services that you can choose between:
- Foxtel iQ
- Foxtel Now
Watching Peacock content on BINGE
BINGE is an alternative to Foxtel. It provides a curated library of the very best in Foxtel's content on demand and live, for a fraction of the price. In the case of TV, this comes in the form of full series boxsets, with every episode available. BINGE starts as low as $10/month for SD, but really, most will want the $14/month HD plan.
It's true that BINGE does not have everything that Foxtel offers, but short on content it is not. The vast bulk of NBCU's content is available on BINGE, not to mention other Foxtel partners such as HBO, Warner Bros., BBC and FX. You can see the full list of movies and the full list of TV shows for more detailed information.
In our opinion, BINGE is not only the best way to watch NBCU content in Australia, but the service competes with, if not betters rivals like Netflix and Stan.
BINGE is flexible and accessible, available on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV and Telstra TV, as well as working with AirPlay and Chromecast.
Watching Peacock on Foxtel
Foxtel iQ and Foxtel Now are effectively the same product, only accessed in two different ways.
Foxtel iQ is the traditional Pay TV (or cable TV) experience that has been with us for decades. A technician comes to your home, installs a cable from the road into your lounge room and hooks up a set-top box. You then sign up to the packages you want and off you go.
The benefits of Foxtel iQ are that you can record live TV, that you get a much more stable connection (as it doesn't rely on Wi-Fi) and it can deliver 4K content.
However, it's extremely expensive by modern standards, especially given that NBCU's content is not all available on one package, but is broken up between channels tied to various add-on packs. If you go all out, you could be out over $100/month. It also requires an invasive and often costly installation process.
Foxtel Now offers the same content as Foxtel iQ, but does away with the iQ4 set-top box in favour of an app. For those comfortable with streaming over Wi-Fi, Foxtel Now is a more mobile and flexible option and it's cheaper. However, you do have the same issue of content being fenced off into various add-on packs. As such, you're still looking at spending more than $50/month to get the bulk of NBCU's content.
When comparing both Foxtel options to BINGE, they do have one key positive. You can get all the NBCU content with either Foxtel option if you sign up for multiple add-on packs. However, that comes at a cost significantly higher than BINGE.
What is the Peacock TV streaming service?
We're going to assume you know what a subscription TV streaming service looks like. It looks and behaves like Netflix, the giant that has set the template for all others to follow. Peacock does feature some intriguing evolutions to the user interface, including auto-playing live content, integration with Rotten Tomatoes and dynamic channels. But the general concept is the same.
Peacock is to NBCU what Disney+ is to Disney. A direct portal into the company's vast catalogue of new and legacy TV shows and movies. It's also the home of NBCU's next generation of original content, much of which has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the US, Peacock will vary from Disney+ in four key ways:
- Unlike Disney+, Peacock will license and broadcast content not owned by Universal. Notably, this includes every episode of Friends, as well as TV shows like Parks and Recreation, The Office, Two and a Half Men, 30 Rock, House and Yellowstone. Plus, there are non-Universal movie series like John Wick.
- Peacock has an ad-supported free tier for subscribers. Universal is of the belief that not only is there a willingness among consumers to suffer through ads for the sake of free content, but also a desire from advertisers to be more exposed on streaming TV subscription services. Peacock will have five minutes of ads in every hour of viewing time, triggered by user activities such as pausing.
- Peacock will broadcast live sport. In the US, this included the rights to the 2020 Olympic Games (until it was postponed due to COVID-19), as well as worldwide competitions such as the English Premier League.
- Peacock subscriptions will be intimately tied into the broadband Internet plan packages offered by Xfinity, another subsidiary owned by Universal parent company, Comcast.
Unlike its competitors, Peacock intends to lean more on its legacy catalogue of titles and licensing deals than invest in originals, but it's still set to pour US$2 billion into making new content for the platform, too.
Notable originals in the pipeline for the service include a series based on crime podcast Dr. Death (starring Alex Baldwin), numerous new shows from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, Tina Fey's Girls5Eva, an adaptation of Brave New World (starring Demi Moore) and Sam Esmail's Battlestar Galactica reboot. Plus, there are new seasons of Law and Order, Curious George, Saturday Night Live and Where's Waldo, as well as reboots to the Saved by the Bell and Battlestar Galactica series.
These join a host of classic movies, including all the entries from series like Jurassic Park, Jason Bourne, Despicable Me, Madagascar and Fast and Furious.
What content does NBCU own?
NBCU made its name primarily in crime TV and in comedy. Whether you watch Peacock via Foxtel or BINGE, expect to find content from NBC TV channels like Universal TV, CNBC, E!, Bravo and SyFy, as well as the full Universal Pictures suite. The latter includes movies from the Dreamworks, Amblin, Working Title and Focus labels, as well as Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Some of the notable TV shows from NBCU include:
- 30 Rock
- 3rd Rock from the Sun
- A Little Late with Lilly Singh
- About a Boy
- American Ninja Warrior
- America's Got Talent
- America's Got Talent: The Champions
- Bring the Funny
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- Chicago Fire
- Chicago Med
- Chicago P.D.
- Days of our Lives
- Family Ties
- Friday Night Lights
- Good Girls
- Hollywood Game Night
- I Dream of Jeannie
- Just Shoot Me!
- Kath & Kim
- Knight Rider
- L.A. Law
- Late Night with Seth Meyers
- Law & Order
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent
- Law & Order: Los Angeles
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- Law & Order: Trial by Jury
- Little Big Shots
- Mad About You
- Making It
- Miami Vice
- My Name Is Earl
- New Amsterdam
- Parks and Recreation
- Police Story
- Prime Suspect
- Punky Brewster
- Quantum Leap
- Saturday Night Live
- seaQuest DSV
- Star Trek
- Stark Raving Mad
- Talk shows
- The A-Team
- The Blacklist
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
- The Golden Girls
- The Naked Truth
- The Office
- The Titan Games
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
- The Voice
- The Wall
- The West Wing
- This Is Us
- Today with Hoda & Jenna
- Will & Grace
- World of Dance
- Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
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