Streaming Drama: Peacock, Like HBO Max, Has no Deal with Amazon or Roku

Streaming Drama: Peacock, Like HBO Max, Has no Deal with Amazon or Roku

That's millions of people who can't sign up. Why? 

HBO Max launched on May 27, just over two weeks ago, and so far it's been plagued by various controversies, from its temporary removal of "Gone With the Wind" to unexplained disappearances of Batman and Superman movies to its exemption of the service from data caps for AT&T customers to the never-ending confusion of how all of the different HBO streaming services fit together.

But it would appear that HBO Max's biggest problem, since launching, has been its unavailability on Roku and Amazon Fire platforms, due to a lack of agreements between HBO Max parent company AT&T and Roku and Amazon, which are the two largest streaming device platform.

AT&T had been said to be in talks with Roku in the days leading up to launch, and AT&T reached last-minute agreements with Comcast to both make HBO Max available on Comcast platforms and add the "Harry Potter" movies. But no deal was ever reached with Roku or Amazon, causing many customers to develop workarounds, or to watch the service on mobile devices instead.

Now, the next major streaming service to launch is facing a similar problem.

According to Multichannel News, Peacock, the new streaming service from Comcast and NBC Universal, has also not reached deals with Amazon or Roku, ahead of its full launch on July 15. In addition, Peacock also does not have a deal with Google, which as of now would keep it off the Android TV and Chromecast platforms, although Comcast has reached agreements with Apple and Microsoft.

Peacock had a soft launch for some Comcast customers earlier this spring, but is now facing constraints, just over a month from its debut. AT&T did reach several of its agreements in the closing weeks before launch, so Comcast does still have time.

Peacock appears to be the last of the streaming services backed by a major entertainment conglomerate to launch, although ViacomCBS has announced plans to relaunch CBS All Access, possibly with new branding, later this summer. Comcast decided back in March to not delay the launch of Peacock due to coronavirus, even though NBC's broadcast of the since-postponed Summer Olympics had been expected to form a key part of the service's launch strategy.

The new service, when it launches, will serve as the exclusive streaming home of "The Office," the former NBC show which was a mainstay for years on Netflix, while also offering "Parks and Recreation," "Saturday Night Live" and other NBC shows. A new version of "Brave New World" will also debut at launch.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.