Peacock reps are telling Fire TV users to sideload the app

NBC’s Peacock streaming service still isn’t available on Amazon Fire TV devices eight months after launch, and even some folks at Peacock seem exasperated by the stalemate.

As Scott Porch first pointed out, Peacock’s social media team has been encouraging Fire TV users to sideload the app over the past week, particularly in response to WWE fans left stranded by the network’s move to Peacock last week. Across Twitter and Facebook, I’ve found numerous cases in which the company suggests sideloading Peacock on Fire TV as a workaround, though the company stops short of providing instructions.

“We understand your frustration,” one of the company’s responses reads. “While Peacock is not currently supported on Amazon devices, there are sideloading options that some customers have found helpful.”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sideloading apps on Fire TV. I’ve done it for Peacock myself on several Fire TV devices without issue, and will describe how to do so below. Still, the fact that Peacock reps are encouraging the practice just shows how frustrating streaming-carriage disputes can be—both for customers and the company reps who have to deal with them.

peacocksideload Jared Newman / IDG

Peacock’s social media reps suggest Fire TV users sideload the app. .

When will Peacock arrive on Fire TV?

Earlier this month, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said at an investor conference that he hoped Peacock would be available on all major platforms “soon.” (NBCUniversal, which runs Peacock, is owned by Comcast.) Some observers interpreted that statement as a sign of an imminent launch on Fire TV.

As of now, though, Peacock remains unavailable on Fire TV devices, at least officially. Rumors of Peacock launching on Samsung TVs by mid-March haven’t panned out either.

What’s the holdup? As both CNBC and Matthew Keys reported last summer, NBCU and Amazon are mainly fighting over how to distribute the service. Amazon reportedly wants to sell Peacock subscriptions through its Prime Video Channels marketplace, while NBCU wants all customers flowing through its own app, where it would have more control over the experience—and users’ viewing data. A report from Vox last November reaffirmed that Channels distribution remains the big sticking point.

The dispute is somewhat different from the one that kept Peacock off Roku devices until last September. As Bloomberg reported, that holdup was largely about how to share ad revenue.

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