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Peloton is sweating over yet another unfavorable TV cameo

David Costabile riding a Peloton bike in Billions season 6
(Image credit: Showtime)
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Spoilers follow for Billions season 6 

Yet another unfavorable TV cameo is causing headaches for Peloton and its PR team.

Only a month after the fitness brand took issue with the use of a Peloton exercise bike in HBO’s Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That, a similarly unfortunate situation has arisen after the season 6 premiere of Billions.

In the latest episode of the Showtime series, David Costabile’s character, Wags, suffers a heart attack while riding a Peloton bike – a fate that also befell Sex and the City’s Mr Big.

Unlike Mr Big though, Wags’ heart attack isn’t fatal – the Billions character even goes so far as to announce: “I’m not going out like Mr Big!” – but suffice to say, Peloton is rightfully peeved to see another potentially damaging portrayal of its fitness tech appear on screen. 

“We get TV shows want to include [Peloton bikes] to get people talking, but to be clear, we did *not* agree for our brand or IP to be used [in Billions] or provide any equipment,” the company wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “As the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives.”

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With good reason, then, Peloton isn’t happy about the context in which its bikes were used in both Sex and the City and Billions – and this latest gaffe will come as an unwelcome side note in an already turbulent period for the company. 

Taking stock

Peloton suffered another blow last week, when CNBC published a report claiming that the company was planning to pause production of treadmills and exercise bikes. The report was based on leaked internal documents, and Peloton’s CEO and co-founder John Foley was quick to refute claims that the brand was under stress.

“The information the media has obtained is incomplete, out of context, and not reflective of Peloton’s strategy,” Foley wrote in a blog post on the company website.

“Rumors that we are halting all production of bikes and Treads are false,” he added, explaining that the company was instead adjusting production to suit demand and “resetting our production levels for sustainable growth.”

We’ve contacted Peloton for comment and will update this article when we receive a reply, but it looks like customers will be unaffected, and if you’ve been thinking of picking up a Peloton machine for your home gym, you shouldn’t need to worry about them being out of stock.

Axel Metz
Axel Metz

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Tesla models to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and a degree in English Literature means he can occasionally be spotted slipping Hemingway quotes into stories about electric sports cars.