Browsing deep into NBC's back catalog

One of Peacock's biggest advantages is its access to NBC's strong catalog of content, as well as its sister networks and entertainment properties, including Bravo, USA Network, Syfy, Oxygen, E!, CNBC, MSNBC and Universal Pictures. There's also some content licensed from rivals, including A&E, ABC, Fox, Hallmark, History, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks Animation, Focus Features and Lionsgate.

Some of the best shows available now are Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, and Downton Abbey, and you get all seasons of each (with the exception of 30 Rock, which is missing one season). For some series, however, you get only a recent handful of seasons or episodes, even on premium. For example, you'll only find the first season of Chucky. 

The catalog is far from complete, however. Some shows you might associate with NBC, like Friends, Seinfeld and Scrubs aren't on , and don't seem to be coming any time soon. So far, the most successful Peacock originals have been the Poker Face, Fresh Prince prequel drama, Bel-Air, The Best Man: The Final Chapters and Bravo reality shows including The Real Housewives of Miami. None have garnered quite the same buzz as other streaming platforms' originals, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus or HBO Max exclusive Peacemaker.

In the Movies category, you'll find hundreds of titles, organized by genre, franchise, or what's new in theaters. There are helpful carousels dedicated to '80s and '90s nostalgia, with titles including Legend, Billy Madison, Stepmom, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Schindler's List. And there are Peacock Originals such as Psych 3: This Is Gus. 

However, Peacock's big-name movies don't always stick around for long. Jurassic World Dominion and Minions: The Rise of Gru left Peacock in January 2023, for example. Others that have come and gone include the Harry Potter movies, Do the Right Thing and Phantom Thread. But, you can check Peacock to see when a given title is leaving a platform. 

Peacock helpfully displays Rotten Tomatoes ratings, both showing the critics' score and the audience score. Movie thumbnails may include a red-tomato, "fresh" rating but don't display a score if the movie is rated "rotten." You can see the score for any movie with a Rotten Tomatoes rating, alongside the audience score, after selecting it. The platform has boasted some immediate streaming rights for theatrical releases, including Jennifer Lopez's Marry Me, Halloween Kills and 2022's Firestarter. In October 2022, Halloween Ends had a same-day premiere on .


'Channels' mixes live TV and on-demand

From Browse, you can navigate to the Channels section of the app, which is another hodgepodge of free content. Channels looks kind of like a cable box grid guide, but instead of various networks and cable channels, you get themed channels around programming. These include NBC News Now, Best of WWE and Dateline 24/7. In addition to more recent programming, some channels focus on older content, from Fallon Tonight, which shows old episodes of The Tonight Show, to SNL Vault, Classic TV, and the Bob Ross Channel. There is also Spanish-language content from Telemundo.

The biggest appeal to Channels for many will likely be its live sports and news programs, which offer a decent selection of live NBC programming. These include NBC News Now, Sky News, NBC channels for major cities like New York and Los Angeles, and NBC Sports. You'll also find NBC's new 24-hour version of the Today Show, called Today All Day, though that includes repackaged Today segments and more lifestyle programming than straight news. However, unlike live TV streaming platforms such as YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV, there's no option to record programming to a DVR. 


Still MIA: Mobile downloads for all 

While there's not too much to complain about in the free tier, the premium offerings still lack consistent features that competitors like Netflix and Hulu already have. Mobile downloads are still limited to Premium Plus subscribers, the service's most expensive tier. 


Should you get Peacock?

If you like NBC and its sister networks, why not try it out? If the ads bug you, you can upgrade, and if you want to pay less, you can find deals depending on your internet, phone or cable provider. Some cable customers can get it for free.

Will make it onto your daily streaming routine, alongside Netflix and Hulu? Probably not, at least in the short term. If you don't mind watching a few ads, it's a fun place to explore older movies and a big mix of TV shows, and keep up with current NBC shows, reality TV, news and some live sports in one spot -- especially if you're already a cord-cutter and looking to expand your options.