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Is Peacock Free? Everything You Need to Know Before the Olympics

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The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are upon us (even if the calendar says it’s 2021), but this time, you’re going to need to sign up for Peacock if you want to watch the biggest events live. NBC’s one-year-old streaming platform is playing a starring role in the Olympics this year, but the good news is that you don’t have to pay to watch most of the main Games — all you need is to sign up for a free Peacock account. There’s one notable exception, though, so read on.

Peacock is somewhat unique in a crowded market of streaming services in that it’s totally free to sign up. Your free account gives you access to a limited selection of content, of course, but it’s a great way to try out the platform and see if there’s anything you like on there (and it’s arguably a better and more user-friendly model than standard “free trials” that start automatically billing you after a certain period).

To enjoy the full Peacock content library, however, you’ll want to sign up for Peacock Premium, which rings in at $5 per month, which is still pretty affordable. That lets you stream all sorts of shows, from new Peacock Originals like the Saved by the Bell reboot to timeless classics like The Office, along with movies, news, and sports. You can watch Peacock on virtually any modern streaming-capable device as well. That covers phones, tablets, web browsers, smart TVs, streaming sticks, and Xbox or PlayStation consoles.

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NBC is the primary broadcaster of the Olympic Games in the U.S. and is promoting Peacock heavily for this event. Peacock is the only platform that’s airing the main events from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — gymnastics, track and field, and men’s basketball — but you can also stream the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, exclusive documentaries, and tons of other related content. Peacock is running five channels in total dedicated to the Olympics. Be aware, though, that U.S. men’s Olympic basketball requires a Peacock Premium subscription.

Finally, if you’re the type that really, really hates ads, then there’s a third subscription tier just for you: Peacock Premium Plus. For $10 per month, the Peacock Premium Plus plan gets you the same content as the Premium package but with no commercial interruptions for the vast majority of programming. Whichever plan you go for, though — be it free, Premium, or Premium Plus — now’s the time to sign up for Peacock and get ready to watch the Olympics live. The Opening Ceremony begins on Friday, July 23, at 6:55 a.m. ET/3:55 a.m. PT.

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