If You Use Roku, You May Be Losing Over 85 Channels as of Dec. 9
A dispute could see two major apps removed from the popular streaming box.
Streaming your favorite TV shows and movies relies upon having a solid internet connection and sound Wi-Fi, but it also requires the right apps and hardware setups to access them. Now, changes in the streaming world are also beginning to affect what's available to viewers beyond technical snafus. The latest involves Roku, which has announced that anyone using its popular streaming platform could stand to lose over 85 channels within the coming months over an ongoing dispute. Read on to see what could be getting cut from your TV soon.
YouTube TV and YouTube could be leaving Roku for good Dec. 9, taking more than 85 channels with them.
In a blog post from Oct. 21, Roku announced that it had yet to reach an agreement with Google over the distribution of its popular YouTube TV and YouTube streaming apps on its platform. As a result, the six-month-long feud may push past the Dec. 9 contract deadline that would see the YouTube app removed from Roku's channel store, Deadline reports.
While units that already have the apps installed will continue to have access, the deadline will ensure that no new Roku smart TVs or hardware devices will have access to the services. This means that YouTube TV subscribers who purchase a Roku box or upgrade their hardware would lose access to the more than 85 channels the service provides, according to Business Insider.
Roku previously removed the YouTube TV app from its channel store due to the dispute.
The current dust-up comes months after Roku first called foul on Google when it alleged the tech giant was demanding that search results on the streaming platform be skewed in their favor. In an attempt to apply pressure, Roku removed the YouTube TV app from its channel store, keeping it available for existing users but making it impossible for new customers to download the service. Since then, Google has used the standard YouTube app to offer new users access to the live streaming TV service.
At the time, a company spokesperson for Roku issued a statement on Apr. 26 saying: "Google is attempting to use its YouTube monopoly position to force Roku into accepting predatory, anti-competitive, and discriminatory terms that will directly harm Roku and our users."
Google said existing customers could still keep access if the apps are already downloaded.
In response to the company's latest blog post, Google has said the ongoing negotiations have been difficult and that their removal from the store could be inevitable. "Since our negotiations with Roku earlier this year, we've continued to work with them to find a resolution that benefits our mutual users," the company wrote. "Roku has once again chosen to make unproductive and baseless claims rather than try to work constructively with us. Since we haven't been able to continue our conversations in good faith, our partnership for all new Roku devices will unfortunately end on December 9. We are, however, giving Roku the ability to continue distributing both YouTube and YouTube TV apps to all existing users to make sure they are not impacted."
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Roku maintains that the current dispute is about freedom from outside influence, not money.
In their initial blog post, Roku claims that the negotiations between the companies aren't about costs or profits unlike other publicized disputes, but instead about maintaining independence and stopping larger companies from influencing smaller ones. "Our concerns with Google are not about money. We have not asked for a single change in the financial terms of our existing agreement," the post reads. "In fact, Roku does not earn a single dollar from YouTube's ad-supported video sharing service today, whereas Google makes hundreds of millions of dollars from the YouTube app on Roku."
Roku continued by saying they were trying to keep negotiations between the companies as transparent as possible but admitted the outcome might not be ideal. "As we shared in April, the threat remains that Google may remove YouTubeTV from the Roku platform. We continue to believe that streamers stand to benefit from Google and Roku reaching a fair agreement and we remain committed to trying to achieve that goal. For Roku, this is about maintaining our independence, protecting our customers, and ensuring healthy competition in the streaming industry that benefits millions of consumers."