×

Roku and Fox Reach Deal to Keep Channels on Devices, Just in Time for the Super Bowl

Roku and Fox Corp. announced that they reached a deal to keep Fox’s channels on the device maker’s platform, an 11th-hour agreement that means Fox apps will be available for Roku users to stream Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Fox Corp. said in a statement late Friday, “We are pleased to have reached a successful agreement with Roku. Fox’s leading suite of apps will continue to be available on the Roku platform.”

Roku, for its part, said, “We are delighted that we reached an agreement with Fox to distribute Fox channels on the Roku platform. Roku customers can stream the Super Bowl through Fox Now, Fox Sports and NFL in addition to other ways.”

Roku’s distribution deal with Fox Corp. was set to expire on Jan. 31 — and Roku had preemptively yanked all of the broadcaster’s apps from the Roku Channel Store as the two sides worked to hammer out a deal.

Terms of the deal between Roku and Fox Corp. were not disclosed. The standoff echoed the retransmission-consent disputes between cable and satellite TV operators and broadcasters. However, device makers like Roku typically seek payments from content suppliers like Fox for distribution on their platforms (whereas pay-TV companies compensate networks with carriage fees).

As of the end of September 2019, Roku reported 32.3 million active accounts, a net gain of 1.7 million during the third quarter and up 36% year-over-year.

Roku users were in danger of losing Fox Corp.’s entire suite of streaming apps — including those for Fox News Channel and Fox Nation (the channels subscription-streaming offshoot). On Friday, in what appeared to be a coordinated effort, several Fox News personalities including Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham posted tweets lashing out at Roku.

“Why is @Roku threatening to take away the FOX News app?” Hannity wrote on Twitter. “We don’t know either! Tell Roku hands off your device, and to put you ahead of their business interests.” That same message was posted by Tomi Lahren and Jeanine Pirro, and Ingraham had a very similar comment.

As is typical in such disputes, Fox Corp. had previously complained about Roku’s tactics, coming on the eve of the U.S.’s biggest TV event. “Roku’s threat to delete Fox apps from its customers’ devices is a naked effort to use its customers as pawns,” a company rep said in a statement Friday before the new deal was struck.

With the new agreement in place, Roku said that on Sunday, Feb. 2, it will launch a “Big Game Guide” on Roku devices to let users know all the ways they can access the Super Bowl LIV broadcast, featuring the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

Even if Fox’s apps had remained dark on Roku, the device maker’s customers would still have had numerous other ways to watch the Super Bowl, which is being widely distributed for free in the U.S.

In addition to the Fox Sports and Fox Now apps, Roku customers can stream the Super Bowl on Fubo TV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. Comcast or Charter Spectrum cable customers also can use the Xfinity or Spectrum apps, respectively, on Roku devices to watch the Super Bowl. The game will stream free on the NFL app on Roku as well. In addition, Roku TV owners with an antenna can tune into broadcast TV.

Fox channels that are now available again on the Roku Channel Store include: Fox Now, Fox Sports, Fox News Channel and Fox Nation, Fox Business, Fox Soccer, and Big Ten Network.

More TV

  • Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth WarrenNinth 2020

    MSNBC Democratic Debate Moderators Lost Control of a Messy Night (Column)

    After what seems like countless Democratic debates, February 19th’s had a giant curveball in Mike Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor whose enormous fortune has given him a late, but undeniable, leg up in the race. So it was unsurprising that the prospect of Bloomberg making a play for the nomination at the 11th [...]

  • Combs Making the Band

    Diddy Sons Quincy Brown, Christian and Justin Combs Will Judge 'Making The Band'

    The panel of judges for the MTV reboot of “Making The Band” was revealed on Wednesday. Diddy’s sons Quincy Brown, Christian and Justin Combs along with creative director and celebrity choreographer LaurieAnn Gibson are all set to join the franchise. Diddy’s children all have careers spanning music, entertainment and fashion. “Making The Band” is based [...]

  • Lesley VisserFooty's Bubbles & Bones Gala,

    Lesley Visser to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at 41st Sports Emmys

    Veteran sportscaster Lesley Visser will be honored with the lifetime achievement award at this year’s 41st annual Sports Emmys. It reps the first time a woman has received the accolade. “To be a pioneer at nearly every juncture of sports reporting isn’t easy despite how Lesley Visser makes it look, said Justine Gubar, executive director, [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Angelyne Signs on

    TV News Roundup: Angelyne Signs on to Produce Eponymous Peacock Series

    In today’s TV news roundup, Peacock’s limited series “Angelyne” got the titular woman as an executive producer, and Netflix announced premiere dates for “Ugly Delicious” and “Unorthodox.” DATES Netflix announced the premiere dates of new and returning shows coming this March: “Ugly Delicious” Season 2 is premiering March 6; “Marc Maron: End Times Fun” will launch March [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren,

    How to Watch the Nevada Democratic Debate Online

    The ninth Democratic presidential debate will take place Wednesday as six hopeful candidates take the stage ahead of the Nevada caucus on Feb. 22. NBC and MSNBC will broadcast the debate on their networks from 6 p.m. PT/ 9 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. PT/ 10 p.m. ET. Those wanting to tune in can also [...]

  • James Wolk

    James Wolk to Star in NBC Drama Pilot 'Ordinary Joe'

    James Wolk has been cast in the lead role of the NBC drama pilot “Ordinary Joe,” Variety has learned. The project explores the three parallel lives of Joe Kimbrough (Wolk) after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. The series asks the question of how different life might look if you made your [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content