As is often the case with electronic media, Peacock’s delayed arrival on Roku streaming sticks and set-top boxes boiled down to one main factor: advertising money. Companies that operate ad-supported Roku channels – such as NBC and Peacock – are contractually obligated to allow Roku to sell 30 percent of its advertising inventory and claim all the revenue that comes from it. According to Varietyhowever, NBC Universal was reluctant to give in some of Roku̵
That’s not all, either. One of Peacock’s outstanding features is that its ad-supported levels do not run more than five minutes of ads per hour. This means that Roku’s share of the service’s total advertising revenue may have been minimal at best, but NBC used the consumer – friendly promise to further justify why Roku should not be able to claim any advertising inventory or money. (For what it’s worth, NBC believes it’s getting away with minimal ad placement because it’s developed new ad formats and inked exclusivity deals with certain “charter” sponsors to get the most out of the limited commercial breaks.) All the while, NBC Universal apparently had has had to deal with a number of new regulations that had to be met if Roku were to agree to carry peacocks. In short, it was all a mess.
These messy negotiations came to light late last week when Comcast-owned NBC Universal threatened to bring 46 of its TV Everywhere channels – including 11 network apps, 12 NBC-owned station programs and 23 Telemundo-owned station programs – from Roku after the distribution agreement had gone out. After some public sniping from both parties, the drama quickly subsided: The two companies announced just hours later that Peacock would actually arrive in Roku shortly. The terms of the agreement between Roku and NBC Universal eventually remained unknown, but the latter’s hard line may have ultimately been responsible for forcing Roku’s hand.
Now, if Roku, AT&T and WarnerMedia could just fix the problems with HBO Max, people might actually have a reason to buy streaming sticks again.