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Here’s Why You Can’t Watch Peacock on Roku

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Photo: Jenny Kane/AP/Shutterstock

NBCUniversal has spent millions hyping the launch of Peacock. The ads are everywhere, and they’re very effective at selling the service. Unfortunately, many of the consumers inspired by those promos to check out Peacock are just now finding out that you can’t do that on television — if you do your streaming with a Roku or Amazon Fire TV device, at least. Much the same way HBO Max was unable to come to an agreement to get its service on those platforms, Peacock has so far been similarly plucked over by the device-makers’ demands.

While the situation with Peacock isn’t identical to what’s going on with HBO Max (and HBO Original Recipe, which won’t be streamable at all on Roku as of next month), the basic issue boils down to two things: money (shocker!) and data. Like Apple, Roku long ago decided it didn’t want to just make money selling hardware. It now makes much of its cash selling advertising, either by giving over space on its homepage to streamers looking to sell their apps and shows, or more recently, through its own Roku Channel, which competes with services like Peacock by aggregating library content from studios and networks and offering them for free to users. Peacock may have Parks and Recreation, but the legendar-(ily mediocre) Brooke Shields sitcom Suddenly Susan calls the Roku Channel home. (And if you don’t think I’ve been watching episodes of it on Roku, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention to my Twitter feed.)



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