Roku Pulls All NBC Owned Apps Including WWE’s TV Home USA Network
Roku has announced that it will be pulling all NBC-owned apps from its service, including the USA Network. This is bad news for WWE fans that may want to watch RAW and NXT on the night they air. They are usually added to Hulu later on in the week, and WWE Network after that. Smackdown is on FOX, so it is safe. As for workarounds, USA is still on Sling.
Roku and NBC have been at odds for some time over carriage rights for Peacock.
Roku sent out the following message to customers:
Dear Roku Customer,?
Comcast informed Roku that they plan to take away consumers’ access to NBCUniversal’s TV Everywhere channels on the Roku platform. TV Everywhere channels allow Roku users to stream channels that are part of the traditional Pay TV package they subscribe to. Comcast may require Roku to delete these channels as early as this weekend.
This is deeply disappointing and the wrong way to treat subscribers, many of whom are Comcast customers, who pay to access these channels via their cable TV subscriptions and now will no longer be able to view these TV Everywhere channels on Roku, their platform of choice. While these NBC TV Everywhere apps represent a very small number of streaming hours on our platform, we believe they are convenient to people who use them, especially when so many Americans are at home.
Comcast is removing these channels in order to try to force Roku to distribute its new Peacock service on unreasonable terms.
Roku’s goal is to bring you a wide selection of content and to help content producers build large audiences. We asked Comcast to extend our existing arrangement for their TV Everywhere channels as-is so that they remain accessible while we continue to work towards a Peacock agreement. Comcast declined to extend and also refused fair and normal business terms for the distribution of Peacock.
Fortunately, Roku customers can still access NBCUniversal’s channels many ways on Roku devices. Existing Xfinity, Charter, or AT&T TV customers can stream NBCUniversal’s channels on the Xfinity Stream, Spectrum TV and AT&T TV channels available in the Roku Channel Store. You can also watch NBCUniversal’s networks through other Live TV providers such as AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV, many of which offer free trials. Comcast’s decision does not affect access to the Xfinity Stream app.
We know that you stand to benefit from Comcast and Roku reaching an agreement that preserves access to TV Everywhere channels, expands choice in free content and respects your desire to watch content on the platform of your choosing. We are committed to trying to achieve that goal.
Meanwhile, Deadline reports that NBC issued it’s own statement.
We are disappointed Roku is removing its users’ FREE access to NBCUniversal programming – 11 network apps, 12 NBC Owned Station apps, 23 Telemundo Owned Station apps – and continues to block access to the only free premium streaming service available in the market, Peacock. Roku’s unreasonable demands ultimately hurt both their consumers and their consumer equipment partners to whom they’ve promised access to all apps in the marketplace.“