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Peacock Premium vs Premium Plus: Is Upgrading Worth The Extra Cost?

Streaming Better Peacock Premium banner with Peacock shows background

Peacock Premium unlocks access to all of the shows and movies available to watch through the streaming service. However, there are two different Peacock Premier plans to choose from and picking the right one depends on how much a household is willing to pay each month, whether they want to skip the ads, and whether they want access to their local NBC station.

In terms of the price, the standard Peacock Premium plan currently costs $5.99 a month or $59.99 a year. The Premium Plus plan costs twice as much with the price coming it at $11.99 a month or $119.99 a year. Is Premium Plus really worth twice as much?

The short answer is it depends. For many homes the standard Peacock Premium plan will be more than enough. For others, however, there is plenty of additional value available when upgrading to Premium Plus.

For quick reference, here are the main differences between Premium and Premium Plus.

PeacockPremiumPremium Plus
Local NBC

Peacock Premium vs Premium Plus

Regardless of the Premium tier chosen, all subscribers get access to all of the shows, movies and live sports that are available to watch through Peacock. With no difference in the on-demand content, there is no obvious reason to consider upgrading to Plus. However, for those that want the richest experience, the differences collectively can make a difference, beginning with an ad-free viewing experience.

The Premium Plus ads difference

Peacock Premium Ads
Ads on Peacock

One of the most obvious differences between the Premium and Premium Plus tiers is that Plus is an ad-free subscription. However, there are some caveats here, including the fact that not all of the content on Peacock is available to watch without ads. While most of the library is available ad-free to Premium Plus subscribers, Peacock does make clear that “a small amount of programming” will still contain ads due to streaming rights.

Peacock also offers access to a variety of live linear channels, and as these are live channels, ads will be shown regardless of the subscription tier.

Another caveat we think is worth noting here is Peacock’s approach to ads in movies. Peacock gets a lot of movies before other services, so it can be a good subscription for movie fans. What’s more, we’ve found that Peacock almost always offers an ad-free viewing experience once a movie has begun. Unlike many other services that show ads throughout a movie, Peacock tends to show an extended ad break (often around three minutes) before the movie starts. The movie then plays in full without ads.

With these caveats in mind, if you are considering signing up to Peacock to primarily watch live sports and/or movies we wouldn’t recommend paying for the ad-free tier. Instead, the upgrade to ad-free will mostly benefit those wanting to watch on-demand shows and episodes without the interruptions.

The Premium Plus NBC difference

Peacock NBC shows
NBC on Peacock

Another major difference is that Premium Plus includes access to a subscriber’s local NBC station. This is a very good benefit to have and especially if not currently signed up to a live TV plan that includes NBC, or you are unable to access a local, over-the-air NBC station using an antenna.

Of course, if you are able to access your local NBC affiliate or subscribed to a live TV plan that includes NBC then we don’t see a reason to upgrade to Premium Plus for access to NBC. Another point to keep in mind is that most NBC shows and programming are available to watch on-demand with the standard Premium plan, with new episodes of current shows typically added the day after they are shown live on NBC.

Likewise, popular live sports events that are shown on NBC are usually made available to all Peacock subscribers. While Premium Plus subscribers can tune in to the channel and watch live as normal, Peacock regularly makes a separate stream available for those signed up to the ad-supported plan. While you won’t be able to watch pre-and-post-game coverage through this alternate stream, it does further reduce the need to pay more each month for live sports on NBC, including NFL, Premier League, the Olympics, and more.

Again, unless you specifically want access to your local NBC station then we don’t see enough of a reason to upgrade to Premium Plus just for NBC.

The Premium Plus downloads difference

Downloads Peacock Premium Plus
Downloads requires Premium Plus

One of the more minor differences between Premium and Premium Plus is the ability to download videos to watch at a later time, including offline. The reason we consider this minor is due to the additional restrictions that are in play here.

The main limitation is that downloads are only available on mobile devices. Unless you are someone who travels often, or often find yourself away from a Wi-Fi signal, we don’t really see much benefit in having access to downloads. At least not on a permanent basis. If, for example, you want to watch NBC shows and Universal movies while on vacation, you can simply upgrade to Premium Plus the month you are away and then downgrade again once you’re back home.

Further adding to the limitations, Peacock also only allows 25 videos to be downloaded across all devices at any one time. While enough for a series or two, this is still a low cap. Not to mention, Peacock tends to treat downloads similar to digital rentals. For example, all downloaded content is automatically deleted from the device 48 hours after you have started watching, and will automatically be removed after 30 days regardless of whether it has been watched.

Again, if on vacation or planning to be away from home, then upgrading to Plus for one month seems reasonable, but upgrading permanently for access to downloads isn’t really worth it, in our opinion.

So should you upgrade to Premium Plus?

The three main differences between Premium and Premium Plus are the removal of ads, access to local NBC, and the ability to download videos. As we’ve discussed already, we don’t view any single one of these reasons as reason enough to upgrade and pay more each month for Premium Plus. While each has its benefits, we don’t think they offer enough on their own pay twice twice as much for.

That said, Premium Plus subscribers do get access to all of these features for the price of the single upgrade, and that does change things. For example, if you want to watch without ads and want access to you local NBC station, then it suddenly makes a lot more sense to upgrade to Premium Plus.

As is usually our recommendation, we would suggest trying the standard Premium plan out first to make sure Peacock works for you in general, and to see whether the use of ads, lack of local NBC, and the lack of downloads are all things you’re happy with. If any of them prove to be too much of a dealbreaker, then it may be time to upgrade, safe in the knowledge that you’ll also benefit from the additional upgrades at the same time.

Peacock channels$5.99/$11.99 a month
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John Finn


2 responses to “Peacock Premium vs Premium Plus: Is Upgrading Worth The Extra Cost?”

  1. yes not just paid for the app I wanted to see Extreme Rules it’s not working so I try to find a 800 number you can’t get a 800 number you got to talk to somebody then they want to charge you a dollar after you just pay the app then they tell me they want me to pay $55 a month I want to know why is it I can’t get my Extreme Rules and why do I have to pay extra money to speak to somebody and I can never get a phone number

  2. Thanks for the explanations!

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