January 21, 2021

NBCUniversal’s Peacock says two seasons of “The Office” will be free


THE OFFICE — Season 2 — John Krasinsky as Jim Halpert, Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Shrute, Steve Carell as Michael Scott, B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard

Paul Drinkwater | NBCU Photo Bank

Happy holidays, “The Office” fans — you’re about to get the first two seasons of the comedy series for free.

Seasons 1 and 2 of “The Office” will be available on the free version of Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, the company said Monday. Seasons 3 through 9 will be on Peacock’s paid premium tiers, the company said Monday. An advertising-supported premium subscription costs $4.99 per month. An ad-free version is available for $9.99 per month.

“The Office,” for years Netflix‘s most-watched series, will be exclusively available to Peacock subscribers starting Jan. 4, 2021. Comcast‘s NBCUniversal is counting on “The Office” to drive Peacock signups as the service hopes to compete with Disney+, Netflix and a plethora of other streaming products. In September, NBCUniversal reached a deal with Roku, the largest streaming distribution platform by users, just in time for “The Office” launch.

Peacock continues to negotiate with Amazon Fire TV on a distribution carriage agreement.

In addition to “The Office” episodes, NBCUniversal will release behind-the-scenes footage and interviews and never-before-seen clips and deleted scenes for premium subscribers.

NBCUniversal outbid Netflix by $10 million a season for “The Office” last year, CNBC reported. NBCUniversal is paying $500 million for all 201 episodes of “The Office” for the next five years. Universal Television, a division of NBCUniversal, produced the show with Deedle-Dee Productions and Reveille Productions.

Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts announced in September that Peacock has 15 million signups. NBCUniversal projected in January that 30 million to 35 million Peacock accounts will be active by 2024. AT&T said earlier this month its flagship streaming service HBO Max has 12.6 million subscribers, while Disney said last week Disney+ has more than 86 million global users.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

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