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Peacock Not Expected to Reach Distribution Agreements With Roku and Amazon by July 15 Launch

Stephanie Sengwe

It looks like Peacock’s prospects of being available on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs are slim even as the July 15 national launch approaches. According to CNBC, the NBCUniversal-owned streamer is no closer to getting on the two platforms as negotiations are still underway. In fact, CNBC’s sources say the possibility of inking any deals with either platform are โ€œless than 10 percent.โ€

Part of the issue at hand is that the streaming industry is still novel and so is the process of negotiating with digital platforms. Most streamers want to ensure that the agreements they enter are beneficial in the long run and as long-term models.

“While programmers and pay-TV distributors โ€” cable, telecom and satellite TV companies โ€” have successfully negotiated carriage deals for decades, subscription video services are striking their first deals with digital video aggregators, such as Apple, Amazon and Roku,” CNBC noted.

CNBC is also reporting that Peacock is embattled with Amazon over who gets to control user information. Parent company Comcast wants to strike a deal similar to the one Amazon struck with Disney back in November. Under the agreement, Amazon allows for Disney+ to be available on all Fire devices but not available through Amazon Channels, making it possible for all signups to go through the Disney+ website and for the company to have “a direct, one-to-one relationship with its customers.”

NBCU wants a similar deal because if users signup for Peacock directly through the app or the website, the company is able to attain data that can then be used for targeted advertising and gives Peacock the opportunity to charge advertisers higher rates.

Another point of contention is ad inventory. While Peacock wants to keep as much ad inventory for themselves as they can, Roku has been gunning for 15 percent in the negotiations, according to CNBC’s sources.

Typically, Roku takes 30 percent of available ad inventory and gets a “20 percent cut of apps bought through Roku Channels and any pay-per-view video,” according to CNBC. However, in the case of big streamers such as Peacock, who are expected to bring hordes of people to the platform, Roku’s cut on ad inventory is usually under 30 percent.