Roku, Fox apps dispute raises cord-cutting concerns

Roku, Fox apps dispute raises cord-cutting concerns

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How’s this for a pregame letdown? Roku says it is pulling all the Fox channels from its streaming devices two days before Super Bowl LIV is broadcast on Fox.

Fox is broadcasting the game, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, and all the pregame buildup, for free on its streaming apps Fox Sports and Fox Now. 

Roku users found out about the move late Thursday via email from the streaming provider. Roku is the most popular streaming device used to run internet TV apps on big screen TVs. So many cord-cutting and cord-shaving homes planned on watching the game on Fox’s streams using a Roku device.

Unfortunately, it sounds like Roku and Fox are having the same type of carriage dispute that networks and pay TV providers have had for decades – a hassle viewers hoped they had seen the last of with the advent of streaming apps.

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Roku says it is pulling all the Fox channels from its streaming devices two days before Super Bowl LIV is broadcast on Fox.

In a statement sent to USA TODAY, Roku said its “distribution agreement with FOX Corp is set to expire on Jan. 31. We offered FOX an extension so that Roku can continue to bring a large and valuable audience to FOX. If an agreement is not reached, we will be forced to remove FOX channels from the Roku platform.”

In response, Fox said in its own statement that “Roku’s threat to delete FOX apps from its customers’ devices is a naked effort to use its customers as pawns. To be clear, FOX has not asked Roku to remove our apps, and we would prefer Roku continue to make them available without interruption.”



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