Why Buying Roku Does (and Doesn’t) Make Sense for Comcast

·1 min read

Should Comcast, in an effort to jumpstart its lagging streaming business, make a run at acquiring Roku? Media analysts are split on the question that’s surfaced since the Wall Street Journal’s Wednesday’s report that Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts was “scoping out options” to make the company into a streaming powerhouse, including a potential acquisition of Roku. On the one hand, a Roku acquisition would help Peacock, Comcast’s linchpin streaming service, bring in more streaming ad dollars and provide a springboard to international expansion. On the other, there are business roadblocks in the way, and a deal wouldn’t solve the service’s primary issue — a lack of content compared to competitors like Netflix and Disney. And there’s another factor to consider: Buying Roku wouldn’t be cheap. Still, a Roku buyout would be a “great way” for Comcast to give Peacock a shot in the arm, Omdia analyst Sarah Henschel told TheWrap. Comcast recently reported 42 million signups for Peacock, but the Journal noted only about 10 million of those are paying customers. Compared to other major streaming services, that’s minor league; Netflix leads the way with nearly 208 million global customers, Amazon Prime Video has 175 million, and Disney+ is...

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