Roku and Google Fighting over YouTube TV Licensing, Customers Hang in Balance

Good old Roku. Seems like whenever license renewals come up, the likelihood of service disruptions increase. You might remember the WarnerMedia HBO Max conflict that ran for months, but there have been others Roku has tangled with like Amazon (see: Why not put the deal terms with Roku and Amazon Fire out there for everybody to see, HBO Max and Peacock?).

The most current contract renewal conflict involves YouTube TV.

YouTube is mounting its own public relations campaign in its dispute with Roku, telling YouTube TV subscribers that it has offered the same “reasonable” terms under the current agreement for renewal to the OTT company and wants to continue the agreement. Customers are advised to cast YouTube from another device to their Roku box should Roku pull the app. The company is also urging them to pressure Roku by calling customer service or complaining via Twitter to keep YouTube TV.

Google tells YouTube TV customers to spam Roku support

Just for clarity, this isn’t the normal YouTube app, because that contract is up in December. Is it possible Google pulls all their support from Roku, including the normal YouTube app? Yes. The only losers in this battle are Roku users that use YouTube TV, and possibly YouTube.

Workarounds? Sure, they exist. Let’s hope these two companies come to some kind of agreement that doesn’t result in YouTube being pulled from Roku.


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