That lack of a deal means Peacock won’t be available on at least 70 percent of TV sets with a streaming device.
Responding to inquiries from social media users, Comcast‘s official account for Peacock began telling viewers to “squawk about it to Roku if you want,” appending the hashtag #FreetheBird to the end of its message. The posts were first spotted by Jason Gurwin of the industry blog the Streamable on Monday.
We want everyone to join our flock. Squawk to Roku to help us set great entertainment free. In the meantime check out all the other platforms where we are free here: https://t.co/rtOk8gp0tf #FreetheBird
— Peacock (@peacockTV) July 13, 2020
Last month, The Desk reported negotiations between Comcast and Roku over Peacock were hanging on issues of data and advertisement inventory, with Roku demanding access to viewership data and the ability to insert a copious amount of commercial advertisements on two of Peacock’s three subscription plans.
A source familiar with the negotiations said Comcast was ready to give Roku a limited amount of viewership data but was hesitant to allow Roku to insert its own advertisements while users were watching movies and TV shows on Peacock.
Last week, a CNBC report confirmed Comcast and Roku were still debating both issues. An executive told the news outlet he doubted an agreement would be reached with Roku and rival platform Amazon in time for Peacock’s July 15 launch.
Peacock will offer viewers thousands of hours of programming, including a curated selection of NBC shows and licensed movies, for free with advertisement support. A premium, ad-supported subscription will make full seasons and more movies from NBC and other studios available to viewers for $5 a month, though some customers will get access to that tier for free if they are Comcast or Cox cable or Internet subscribers.
An ultra-premium tier removes commercials at a $10 a month price, or $5 a month if customers receive the premium version for free. Comcast executive Matt Strauss said he believes most customers will skip the commercial-free subscription.