Months after officially opening to the public, Roku has finally settled a deal that will bring NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock to its platform, the company has announced. The news comes only days after the negotiations entered a more heated phase, with Roku and Comcast dragging their drama into the public light alongside the threat of Roku’s platform entirely losing NBC TV apps.
As tends to happen when companies start flinging accusations in a public way, last week’s argument between Roku and NBC seems to have propelled the two to a new deal, one that will not only keep NBC TV apps on the Roku streaming platform, but that will also add Peacock into the mix.
The service launched on April 15 and is available on most hardware platforms, but Roku — one of the biggest streaming solutions on the market — has remained notably absent. On Friday, Roku accused Comcast, the parent company behind NBCUniversal, of attempting to bully it into accepting the Peacock streaming app on ‘unreasonable terms’ by threatening to remove all of its apps from the Roku platform.
Bringing the matter to public attention seems to have been the catalyst necessary to bring about the end of the negotiations, with Roku announcing later the same day that it has ‘reached an agreement’ with Comcast that will allow it to retain the NBC TV apps and that will add Peacock to the lineup. In a statement, Roku said that the new deal is ‘an expanded, mutually beneficial relationship’ between it and Comcast that will include, among other things, adding some NBC content to the free ‘The Roku Channel’ app.
Whether we’ll see the platform similarly arrive on Amazon’s Fire TV platform in the near future is still yet to be seen. The delay comes amid the rapid industry changes brought about by mass consumer gravitation to streaming platforms over traditional options. Use of streaming platforms has spiked during the pandemic, driving demand for new content and free services like Peacock.