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Report: Peacock unlikely to land on Roku, Amazon on launch date

A CNBC report on Thursday confirmed what The Desk reported last month: Peacock will likely miss the two biggest streaming platforms.

A CNBC report on Thursday confirmed what The Desk reported last month: Peacock will likely miss the two biggest streaming platforms.

(Logo: NBCUniversal/Comcast, Graphic: The Desk)

Comcast’s forthcoming streaming service Peacock launches next week with a huge library of movies and shows from NBC Universal’s back catalog interspersed with a handful of licensed content from third parties.

At launch, Peacock is expected to offer users thousands of hours of programming, some of it offered to hungry TV viewers for free.

Too bad some people will miss out on the experience.

On Thursday, CNBC reported the likelihood of Peacock launching on two of the biggest streaming platforms — Roku and Amazon Fire — are slim, according to company insiders.

Unnamed sources cited by the financial news outlet said discussions between Comcast and Roku are hanging on the topic of advertisement inventory — specifically, how many commercials Roku would be allowed to insert during programming on Peacock on two of its ad-supported tiers.

The dispute over advertisement inventory was first reported by The Desk in an article last month that also shed light on a similar issue involving the two streaming platforms and AT&T’s new HBO Max service.

CNBC’s report said NBC advertisement executives were weary of offering Roku a significant amount of advertisement inventory for Peacock, offering to compromise by giving Roku a greater degree of advertisements in the company’s legacy NBC apps that are used by customers who authenticate with cable or satellite credentials.

A source who spoke with The Desk last month said Comcast was resisting efforts to allow Roku to insert a copious amount of ads while viewers are watching Peacock. CNBC said on Thursday Comcast had reluctantly offered Roku around 15 percent of its advertisement inventory; Roku typically takes 30 percent, the report said.

The Desk‘s report last month did not include information on Amazon’s discussions with Comcast over Peacock, but sources told CNBC negotiations largely center around the same advertisement inventory issue.

Earlier this week, a Comcast official tasked with overseeing Peacock’s national rollout on July 15 said the company was sticking with that launch date, even if there was no agreement with Roku or Amazon. Roku and Amazon command around 70 percent of the streaming television hardware market — meaning Peacock stands to miss out on a lot of potential subscribers and could frustrate viewers who pre-ordered the service or have access to it through their cable subscription.

To date, Comcast has agreements in place to make Peacock available on Apple’s iOS devices, including Apple TV; Google’s Android operating system, including Android TV; on Xbox One consoles and natively on some LG and Vizio smart TVs.

Negotiations continue to bring Peacock to other devices, officials said.


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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).