Peacock Confirms Plan to Charge for ‘The Office,’ a Key New Lure


NBCUniversal confirmed plans to put “The Office” behind a paywall when the hit sitcom comes to Peacock next month, a bid to attract more paying customers to the fledgling streaming service.

While the first two seasons of “The Office” will be free, customers will have to get Peacock Premium -- at $4.99 a month -- for the other seven seasons, the company said Monday. Subscribers can also pay $9.99 a month for an ad-free version. Bloomberg reported last week that executives at the Comcast Corp. division were mulling such a move.

“The Office” became a surprising hit for Netflix Inc., where it has been one of the most-watched shows on the platform, and NBCUniversal has been touting its switch to Peacock.

The company announced the move Monday in a faux press release from Dunder Mifflin, the fictional paper company depicted in the documentary-style comedy: “This memorandum is to inform everyone that we expect a significant spike in sales starting on January 1, 2021, when Peacock starts streaming the documentary footage that was shot at Dunder Mifflin Scranton between 2005 and 2013.”

Peacock also will stream new footage and deleted scenes starting with the third season, and plans to add more content in March. It will even have “The Office Zen,” a 24-hour channel with ambient sounds from an office setting.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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