Peacock vs Hulu: How does NBC's new streaming service stack up?

Peacock vs Hulu
Peacock vs Hulu (Image credit: Hulu; Peacock)

With the unveiling of NBC’s Peacock, the streaming service space is getting even more crowded. Comcast announced the pricing and content catalog details for Peacock at an investor event on January 16 and the overall reaction can be summed up as, “This seems a lot like Hulu.” 

Like Hulu, NBC’s Peacock will offer several pricing tiers, including an ad-free subscription. Unlike Hulu, Peacock Free will be available to anyone with internet, free of charge. 

The two streamers will give access to different content libraries. Peacock shows and movies will be drawn from Comcast properties like NBC, while Hulu shows and movies will be drawn from Disney properties.

But the biggest difference between the two platforms is Peacock Free, the only free option available from a major streaming service.

Here’s a breakdown of how Peacock compares to Hulu:

Peacock vs Hulu features comparison 

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Peacock vs Hulu
Row 0 - Cell 0 PeacockHulu
Pricing Free | $4.99 | $9.99 (no ads) $5.99 | $11.99 (fewer ads) | $49.99 for live
Bundles Free for Comcast, Cox subscribers $12.99 Disney Plus + ESPN Plus package
Original shows Battlestar Galactica reboot, Saved by the Bell revival, Punky Brewster revival, MacGruber Pen15, Handmaid's Tale, Shrill, Castle Rock, Letterkenny, Ramy, Dollface, High Fidelity
Affiliated networks and film studios NBC, Telemundo, USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, Starz, Universal, Dreamworks, Illumination, Focus Features, Lionsgate ABC, FX, Freeform, NatGeo, Fox Searchlight
TV series library The Office, Law & Order franchise, the Kardashians, Yellowstone Lost, The Bachelor, Family Guy, Modern Family, Killing Eve, Chopped
Sports 2020 Olympics, Premier League, Ryder CupChannels in Live TV package
News Live programming from NBC News, Sky News, MSNBC, and CNBC Post-broadcast episodes from ABC News, Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox News. Vice News Investigations. 60+ live channels at $50 package

Peacock vs Hulu pricing: Only one is free

NBC announced two tiers of Peacock, with three levels of pricing. Peacock Free offers 7,500 hours of programming, including next-day access to current seasons of freshman NBC shows; select episodes of Peacock originals and hit series; complete classic series; popular movies from Universal, Dreamworks and Focus Features; and curated news and sports programming such as the Olympics.

Peacock Premium offers 15,000 hours of programming and its pricing is more in line with Hulu. The ad-supported plan (with five minutes of ads every hour) will cost $4.99 a month for most people and is free for Comcast and Cox customers. Peacock Premium’s ad-free option will cost $9.99 a month ($5 for Comcast/Cox customers). Here's a more detailed breakdown of Peacock Free vs Premium.

Hulu’s ad-supported plan costs $5.99. Its ad-free option (which still shows some ads on some shows) costs $11.99. For live TV programming, add $49 to either plan. 

Hulu can also be bundled with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus for $12.99 a month.

Both services will be available on the Xfinity Flex, a streaming device available for free for Comcast internet-only subscribers, though Hulu is currently available through many other of the best streaming devices

Peacock vs Hulu original shows: The next big shows


(Image credit: Peacock, NBCUniversal)

Peacock original shows in the works include a Battlestar Galactica reboot from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, revivals of Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster, a comedy centered on the Saturday Night Live character MacGruber and Tina Fey’s Girls5Eva. 

Hulu original shows range from award winners like The Handmaid’s Tale and Ramy, Stephen King’s Castle Rock and buzzy comedies including Shrill, Dollface and Pen15. Upcoming Hulu originals include a High Fidelity series, Little Fires Everywhere with Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington and the documentary about Hillary Clinton.

Peacock vs Hulu channels: Affiliated networks

Some of the programming on Peacock used to or still streams on Hulu, since NBC was a stakeholder in the service. In May 2019, Comcast announced the terms of its “Hulu divorce” from Disney, which became the majority stakeholder when it bought 21st Century Fox’s entertainment properties.

For now, all NBCUniversal shows currently streaming on Hulu will continue streaming there. When Peacock launches, it will also stream those shows, including hits like This Is Us and Saturday Night Live. 

In 2024, Comcast can pull all NBCUniversal shows off Hulu and make them exclusive to Peacock.

In the divorce, Hulu and Peacock will remain affiliated with the networks and film studios owned by their parent companies. For for Hulu, that means Disney-owned properties including ABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, NatGeo and Fox Searchlight (recently renamed as just Searchlight), as well as licensed content from other entertainment companies. 

Meanwhile, Peacock will be affiliated with Comcast-owned properties including NBC, Telemundo, USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, Universal, Dreamworks, Illumination, and Focus Features, as well as licensed content from Starz, Lionsgate and other entertainment companies. 

Peacock vs Hulu library: Classic shows

Again, once NBC’s divorce from Hulu is complete and its licensing deals with Netflix and other streamers end, Peacock shows will include The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights. 

Peacock’s movies will come from Universal, Dreamworks, Illumination and Lionsgate, so expect titles like Jurassic Park, Fast and the Furious, E.T., Despicable Me and John Wick.

Among the wide range of Hulu shows are The Bachelor franchise, Lost, Family Guy, Chopped and BBC America’s Killing Eve.

Peacock vs Hulu sports: Which matches go where?

Peacock is playing up its sports programming, especially the 24/7 coverage of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Peacock subscribers also have access to Premiere League soccer matches as well as coverage of the Ryder Cup golf tournament. 

Hulu provides access to sports programming — with ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPNEWS, as well as multiple other channels including FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network — via its Live TV package, which costs $49 on top of either the ad-supported or ad-free plan.

Peacock vs Hulu news programming

Peacock is touting live news coverage from NBC News, Sky News, MSNBC, and CNBC. 

Hulu’s news programming includes post-broadcast episodes from ABC News, Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox News. Vice News Investigations. Users can also watch live news via the Live TV package.

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.