'The Office' Moves To Peacock In 2021, But You'll Have To Pay To Stream Seasons 3-9

The Office is heading to Peacock starting in 2021. We already knew this would happen: in 2019, NBCUniversal shelled out a staggering $500 million to purchase the streaming rights to the popular mockumentary workplace comedy.

What we did not know, however, is that Peacock would be putting most seasons of the show behind a paywall. Starting on January 1, the first two seasons of the series will be available to stream for free on the basic version of Peacock. But seasons 3-9, as well as new "superfan" episodes which contain extended cuts of the episodes with never-before-seen content added in, will only be available to stream on Peacock Premium. That requires a subscription for $4.99 per month with ads, or $9.99 per month for an ad-free experience. 

When people streamed this show on Netflix, they were paying for a subscription to that service. But there isn't a free version of Netflix available to the public, so when word came out that The Office would be available on Peacock, many people assumed that they'd be able to watch the show for free. Instead, NBCUniversal is giving viewers access to the first two seasons for free, and then charging people to continue streaming the rest. And remember, Peacock will be the exclusive streaming home for The Office for the next five years.

According to a press release, here's what will be included when the show makes the jump to Peacock:

  • Every episode (201 total) of The Office that was originally broadcast.
  • Superfan Episodes that include never-before-seen footage and deleted scenes in extended cuts of the original series, starting with season 3, with more coming in March 2021.
  • Spanish audio and Spanish closed captions, starting in February.
  • Behind-the-scenes footage: bloopers, featurettes, and interviews.
  • Curated themed episode collections such as the best of the Scranton branch holiday parties and favorite appearances by guest visitors – all arranged for easy viewing.
  • Range of clip playlists to chronicle pranks; best office romances; and office words of wisdom.
  • The Office Zen, a 24/7 channel of ambient noise devoted to the sights and sounds of the office for anyone working at home.
  • Launch of dedicated Office channels on GIPHY and TikTok.
  • Here's an example of a Superfan Episode clip from a season 3 episode:

    I feel for the folks who will now find themselves faced with the decision of whether to pay for yet another streaming service, but this is yet another example of why it's a good idea (if possible) to purchase everything you love on physical media and not let your viewing habits be controlled by the whims of faceless corporations.