Roku to lose some NBC channels as dispute over Peacock streaming deal heats up

From The Verge: Roku is slamming Comcast’s decision to pull NBC’s TV Everywhere channels from the streaming service as negotiations over distribution for NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service continue.

Those channels allow Comcast customers to use Roku as a platform for streaming NBC’s various shows and other programming under its NBCUniversal umbrella. That includes content from channels like Bravo, E!, Syfy, USA, and NBC itself. It’s unclear what channels are going to be pulled from the service at this time, as Comcast has control over what gets pulled and what doesn’t. That means MSNBC could remain up, for example, but it’s unclear. The Verge has reached out to Comcast for more information.

Roku executives offered to extend the existing agreement between Roku and Comcast for Comcast’s TV Everywhere channels “so that they remain accessible while we continue to work towards a Peacock agreement,” according to a statement from Roku. The statement notes that while TV Everywhere channels “represent an insignificant amount of streaming hours and revenue on our platform.” But as more people are stuck at home and a US election season is now in full swing, not having access to news and entertainment programming becomes a much bigger problem for all parties involved.

“Comcast is removing the channels in order to try to force Roku to distribute its new Peacock service on unreasonable terms,” a Roku spokesperson tells The Verge, adding, “Comcast has declined our extension offer and so far has also refused fair and equitable business terms for the distribution of Peacock — despite the fact that they stand to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue from its distribution on the Roku platform.”

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