On October 1st, all forty-five seasons of the award-winning sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live will be available to stream on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming platform, Variety reports. This is the first attempt at a complete series upload for the show in four years, according to Vulture.
In 2016, the launch of NBCUniversal’s comedy-centric streaming service Seeso marked the first true attempt at a complete archive of the SNL catalog, but the platform folded after a year, according to Vulture. Seeso excluded, the show has mostly existed on streaming platforms in a fragmented form. A non-exclusive, no-frills 2010 Netflix distribution deal terminated in 2013, as reported by Vulture. Hulu‘s SNL holdings have been reduced to the first five seasons, as well as the past fifteen. An attempt at an official SNL mobile app was made in 2015, but its assets shortly became a feature of the basic NBC app, Vulture reports. The NBC official website boasts an SNL library six hundred thirteen episodes strong, although taking into account the eight-hundred plus episodes that have been aired to date, that only accounts for a little over two-thirds of the show’s archives.
Peacock subscribers can currently watch amended versions of episodes from Seasons 40 through 45 on the platform, in addition to a handful of event specials and best-of compilations, as reported by Vulture. In addition to its on-demand offerings, Peacock also offers a live-streaming channel known as “SNL Vault.” This channel presents a variety of sketches selected from the show’s entire lifespan in ten-hour blocks, according to Decider. Absent from “SNL Vault” are Weekend Update highlights and current events-based cold opens, Decider reports.
Omissions of this sort have dogged SNL’s history as an SVOD property. While musical performances from the first five seasons were preserved when those seasons obtained home video releases, all subsequent seasons’ musical performances have been conspicuously excised from their digital transfers. Even sketches that feature copyrighted music, such as a 1998 restaurant commercial parody where host Lucy Lawless impersonates Stevie Nicks, are not officially available.
Peacock stated in 2019 that they were planning on producing an original series called Who Wrote That?, a docuseries companion to SNL profiling members of the program’s legendary writing staff, as reported by Vulture. The SNL YouTube channel features similar original content, namely the two short-form series Behind the Sketch and Stories from the Show.
Peacock TV is currently available as a free download on most major app stores. Peacock Premium is priced at $4.99 a month and offers next-day streaming privileges. Peacock’s ad-free Premium Plus experience is available for $9.99 a month. Saturday Night Live returns to NBC for Season 46 on October 6th.