Peacock on the Deal Clock
NBCU streamer must reach terms with major platforms ahead of national launch
Comcast NBCUniversal’s contribution to the streaming wars, Peacock, isn’t set
to launch nationally until July 15. But as AT&T and WarnerMedia are finding out with the constrained launch of HBO Max, it’s never too early to worry about app support on major device platforms.
At press time, with about a month to go before ad-supported and subscription iterations of Peacock launch outside of Comcast pay TV platforms, NBCU still hasn’t locked up deals with Roku and Amazon to get support for the Peacock app on the Nos. 1 and 2 device platforms. Peacock also doesn’t yet have a deal with Google for Android, the top mobile platform, or for connected-TV device ecosystems Android TV and Chromecast.
NBCU had previously reached agreement with Apple for Peacock support on iOS mobile devices and Apple TV, and has a Peacock deal locked in with Microsoft for gaming console Xbox One. Peacock launched April 15 on Comcast’s X1 and Xfinity Flex platforms; Comcast video subscribers can also stream the service.
As for expanding to other platforms, a Peacock rep told B+C, “We’ll have more to share soon.”
No pressure, but the May 27 launch of HBO Max has been clouded by the service’s lack of support for Roku and Amazon Fire TV, which control more than two-thirds of U.S. connected TVs.
HBO Max has “significant limitations for consumers who want to view it on a TV,” Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Jayant said.
Fortunately for NBCU, it isn’t facing some of the challenges WarnerMedia has with Roku and Amazon, which have already made legacy app HBO Now an integral part of their “channels” distribution model. Like Disney Plus, Peacock is a new app, not one superseding another app like HBO Now.
This, in theory, should make it easier for NBCU to negotiate deals with these technology companies. But maybe not all that easy. Disney’s deal to include Disney Plus on Amazon Fire TV came down to the week before the platform’s Nov. 12 U.S. launch.
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!