Under an agreement between NBCU and Amazon, Peacock will launch on the Amazon devices in the U.S. starting Thursday, June 24. In addition, the two companies reached a distribution agreement for NBCU’s 15 network apps for Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablet devices including NBC, Bravo, NBC News, NBC Sports and Telemundo.
The Peacock pact for Amazon’s family of devices comes just a month before the start of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, for which NBCU holds the U.S. media rights. The media company plans to stream a slew of live Olympics-related events and programming on Peacock, in addition to its family of traditional networks.
Peacock launched across the U.S. on July 15, 2020, available in free, ad-supported and paid tiers. Amazon and NBCU had been at an impasse over business terms, including over access to Peacock ad inventory. Although Peacock was not available in Amazon’s Appstore, the Fire TV family of devices runs Google’s Android TV, so users could “sideload” the Peacock app for Android TV (if they jumped through a few technical hoops).
The lack of an easy way for Amazon Fire TV users to access Peacock has represented a big black hole for NBCU: Amazon boasts more than 50 million active monthly users of Fire TV devices. During this week’s Prime Day (June 21-22) sales event, Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote was the No. 1 item purchased overall, according to Amazon.
As of the end of the first quarter of 2021, Peacock had 42 million “sign-ups,” according to Comcast. But Peacock had fewer than 10 million paying subscribers as of May, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an anonymous source.
Separately, in September 2020, NBCU inked a distribution deal for Peacock with Roku, after the two sides had haggled over distribution terms including how to split advertising and over Roku’s request for NBCU content for the free, ad-supported Roku Channel. Comcast has been mulling the prospect of acquiring Roku as well as ViacomCBS, according to the Journal story.
“We aim to make Peacock as widely available as possible, so we’re excited to bring the service to millions more people who stream on Fire TV and Fire tablets,” Maggie McLean Suniewick, NBCUniversal’s president of business development and partnerships, direct-to-consumer, said in a statement. “Amazon customers will find amazing content to stream this summer on Peacock from the Tokyo Olympics to ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business.’”
Daniel Rausch, VP of Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services, commented, “By pairing Peacock with Fire TV, our joint customers will be able to use Alexa and personalized recommendations to rediscover some of the world’s most-loved sitcoms, watch all-new shows like ‘Girls5Eva,’ and follow Olympic highlights — all from one service.”
The Peacock app on Fire TVs and Fire tablets is compatible with the entire Fire TV product lineup including Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick Lite, and Fire TV smart TV. Customers can use Alexa to launch Peacock, while Alexa integration with titles on Peacock will roll out later this year.
In addition to Amazon and Roku devices, Peacock is available on Apple devices including iPhone, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google Android, Android TV and Chromecast; Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices; Sony PlayStation 4 and PS 4 Pro; Samsung Smart TVs; Vizio SmartCast TVs; and LG Smart TVs. Also, Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour subscribers are eligible to get Peacock Premium with ads included with their service at no extra cost.
Peacock offers current-season programming from NBC and Telemundo, original series and programming, and full seasons of past shows including “The Office,” “Modern Family,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Cheers,” “Yellowstone,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Downton Abbey,” “Real Housewives,” “Top Chef” and “Curious George,” plus movies including those in the Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, The Matrix and Ghostbusters franchises. Peacock also is the exclusive U.S. streaming home of the WWE Network, features a range of sports content, and includes news highlights from “NBC Nightly News” and other programs across NBCU’s portfolio.