Roku, Comcast battle over Peacock could see NBC apps removed from the platform – CNET


Roku may be about to lose NBC apps in its dispute with Comcast over the Peacock streaming service. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The battle between Roku and Comcast over Peacock is expanding, with Roku now being asked by the telecom and media giant to pull NBC apps from its streaming platform. 

On Friday Roku confirmed it was being asked by Comcast to remove the NBC TV Everywhere apps off of its platform. According to Variety, there are 46 apps that could be impacted, including the main NBC app. Comcast owns NBCUniversal, which is the parent to a host of channels including NBC, USA Network, Telemundo in addition to the Peacock streaming service. 

Roku sent out an email to customers letting them know of the impending removal of apps, though as of noon ET on Friday the Roku website as well as NBC’s apps page both listed the main NBC app as available on the popular streaming platform. 

At issue are negotiations for Peacock, Comcast’s new streaming service that launched nationally in July. The streaming service is available on a host of devices but remains absent on Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV, the two most popular streaming platforms in the US. 

“We recently learned that Comcast plans to revoke consumers’ access to NBC TV Everywhere channels on the Roku platform by making Roku delete these channels on / or as early as September 18, 2020,” a Roku spokesman said in a statement provided to CNET. “These consumers, a number of whom are Comcast customers, have paid to access these channels via their cable TV subscriptions and now cannot view this content on Roku, their platform of choice.”

“Comcast is removing the channels in order to try to force Roku to distribute its new Peacock service on unreasonable terms. While the NBC TV Everywhere apps represent an insignificant amount of streaming hours and revenue on our platform, we believe they are important to those consumers who use them, especially when so many Americans are at home.”

In a statement, NBCUniversal pushed back and called Roku’s demands “unreasonable.” 

“We are disappointed Roku is removing its users’ free access to NBCUniversal programming – 11 network apps, 12 NBC Owned Station apps, 23 Telemundo Owned Station apps – and continues to block access to the only free premium streaming service available in the market, Peacock,” the company said. “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. ”

This story is developing… 

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