NBC's Peacock finally arrives on Roku two months after launch

Yolanda Curtis
September 21, 2020

A dispute between Roku (ROKU -0.6%) and Comcast (CMCSA -0.4%) is heating up, as Comcast makes plans to pull NBC's TV Everywhere channels from Roku's service amid ongoing negotiations over whether NBCU's Peacock streaming service gets included. NBCU and Roku are "very close" to signing a new deal, a person familiar with the situation said Friday afternoon.

The phrases of the deal weren't disclosed, but Roku stated the settlement "consists of adding NBC content material to The Roku Channel and a significant partnership around advertising and marketing". Altogether, Comcast-owned NBCUniversal may have 46 NBCU apps removed as early as this weekend from Roku, per a notification the service sent to customers on Friday morning. At the same time, they undermined the value of "TV Everywhere", calling it an insignificant amount of streaming hours and revenue for Roku.

NBCUniversal Threatens to Pull Channels From Roku in Dispute Over Peacock

"Roku's incredible reach will not only help us ensure Peacock is available to our fans wherever they consume video but continue to expand NBCUniversal's unrivaled digital presence across platforms".

At its launch in July NBCUniversal said Peacock would be available on Microsoft's Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X as well as Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.

This is deeply disappointing and the wrong way to treat subscribers, many of whom are Comcast customers, who pay to access these channels via their cable TV subscriptions and now will no longer be able to view these TV Everywhere channels on Roku, their platform of choice. "Roku's unreasonable demands ultimately hurt both their consumers and their consumer equipment partners to whom they've promised access to all apps in the marketplace". "These consumers, a number of whom are Comcast customers, have paid to access these channels via their cable TV subscriptions and now can not view this content on Roku, their platform of choice". It's amusing how a few hours ago, the two media companies exchanged insulting statements, and now they're celebrating a mutually beneficial agreement.

In an interview with Bloomberg News today, AT&T Chief Executive Officer John Stankey stated he is "optimistic" that a person of HBO Max's disagreements with either Roku or Amazon "will resolve itself in relatively short order".

"In business terms, Comcast wants to build a large ad-supported service on the Roku platform and keep all of the ad economics for themselves", Roku said in a statement.

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