Peacock and a handful of other NBC apps are coming to Roku after the two parties reach a deal on Friday.
When Peacock launched in mid-July, it was notably absent from Roku, Fire TV, and some smart TV platforms including Samsung’s, which all carry other popular video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and CBS All Access. For now, Peacock is still not available on those latter two platforms.
Following the deal, viewers can expect Peacock and other NBC apps to start appearing on Roku in the coming weeks.
“We are pleased Roku recognizes the value in making NBCUniversal’s incredible family of apps and programming, including Peacock, available to all of their users across the country,” an NBCUniversal spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “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.”
The new agreement opens up the market quite a bit for Peacock, which 15 million people have already signed up for, according to NBCUniversal. There are around 37 million active Roku accounts, according to a Roku earnings call from February.
So why did it take so long to get Peacock on Roku? It comes down to ads.
An NBCUniversal spokesperson referred to Roku’s demands as “unreasonable,” The Verge reported. The Peacock company wanted more control over its ads, whereas Roku was holding strong to its position of controlling 30 percent of ads delivered through apps on its platform.
One other big new streaming app is also missing from Roku, as well as Fire TV: HBO Max. With smart TV platforms seeming to give companies like HBO and NBCUniversal better deals, the biggest device sellers (Amazon and Roku) have yet to catch up, even though their hardware may run these apps better than a standalone TV.