The Verge is reporting that Comcast plans to pull its TV Everywhere channels from Roku’s platform as part of the ongoing fight between the two companies concerning negotiations about Peacock. Peacock which launched this summer is not available on Roku’s industry leading platform due to disagreements over sharing revenue for advertising and subscription fees. Both sides of course say the other is at fault. Roku’s argument centers around the unfortunate fact that the TV everywhere apps are part of cable customers benefits as a subscriber, while Comcast argues that Roku is not willing to negotiate a fair agreement on revenue. Readers may recall a similar situation between Roku and Fox which led to the loss of Fox branded apps like Fox Sports and Fox News. Similarly, those apps are TV everywhere apps as well vs stand alone services.
Pulling the NBC app would end the workaround that still allowed Roku users to access free NBC and related content via the NBC app. Peacock has been highly touted as a place for free content but truthfully a lot of the same things were already available via TV everywhere apps for NBC, USA Network, SyFy Channel and other related channels. But if these apps are pulled that means that customers will loose that option. Most of the content available on Peacock of course is available on Hulu as well. What customers can not find anywhere else though is Peacock’s original programming which right now is highlighted by the new interpretation of A Brave New World. This is the first time thus far that we have seen a provider pull apps based on a disagreement about an unrelated service. For instance, AT&T has yet to employ the same kinds of tactics with its TV partners such as the Turner Networks, HBO, AT&T TV and others. Though there was a period where Roku lost access to the AT&T TV App.
Overall the Verge reported that 11 network apps, 12 NBC-owned stationed apps, and 23 Telemundo apps will be removed from Roku, but no other specifics were given. They include Bravo, E!, Syfy, USA, and NBC.