Roku and Charter Communications have resolved a distribution snag that began last December over the Spectrum streaming app.
In a joint statement today, the companies said they had reached “a mutually beneficial agreement” for the renewal of the app on the Roku platform. “As a result of the renewal, the Spectrum TV App is now available for download from the Roku channel store. We are pleased to renew our partnership and offer this great streaming experience to our shared customers.”
Charter is the No. 2 U.S. cable operator, with about 16 million pay-TV subscribers, and its Spectrum service reaching key markets like New York and LA. Roku has become the No. 1 gateway for streaming in the U.S. As of the end of the second quarter on June 30, the company said it had 55 million active accounts.
As the traditional bundle continues to shrink Charter has joined pay-TV peers in experimenting with lower-priced, stand-alone offerings. Alongside its flagship Spectrum TV package, it has also rolled out Spectrum Choice, Essentials and Stream, making its relationship to companies like Roku more important than in years past.
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Roku over time has had numerous dust-ups with a number of programmers and app providers, with disputes usually centering on the share of revenue each party will receive. AT&T and Fox Corp. are among the media companies to clash with the company in recent years.
An impasse with YouTube has continued since the spring. New customers cannot download the YouTube TV app in the Roku channel store, though existing YouTube TV customers can still access their accounts via Roku. On the company’s quarterly call with Wall Street analysts earlier this month, executives reiterated their view that the primary source of friction was technology, not revenue. Roku says YouTube and its parent, Google, are seeking to gain what Roku sees as an inordinate amount of access to viewer data.
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