Roku’s deal to distribute YouTube TV expired on Apr. 30, and amid its standoff with Google, Roku removed YouTube TV from its channel store.
For now, Roku stated it is continuing to provide access to YouTube TV for its existing subscribers unless Google takes actions that require the full removal of the channel.
YouTube TV Removed from Roku
Roku had warned its customers that has access with YouTube TV that the service may go dark because of the ongoing dispute between the companies, according to Variety.
On Apr. 30, Roku sent a notice to their customers about the removal of YouTube TV from the channel store, which means that the app can’t be installed or reinstalled on a Roku device.
Roku alleges that Google is seeking anticompetitive terms.
According to Roku, Google is demanding that if a Roku user has the regular YouTube app open, the platform can’t display search results from third-play services like Disney Plus, Netflix, or HBO Max.
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The regular YouTube app remains available on Roku and it is not affected by the current dispute. Google is also currently asking for special access to Roku user data and wants the ability to dictate hardware requirements to Roku in the future for running its apps, as per Roku.
A Roku representative said in an emailed statement that Roku has not asked for one dollar of additional financial consideration from Google to renew YouTube TV. Because of Google’s conduct, new subscriptions will not be available going forward until an agreement is reached.
The Roku spokesperson added that it is well past time for Google to embrace the principles that have made streaming so popular for millions of users by giving consumers control of their streaming experience, and by embracing fair competition and by ceasing anticompetitive practices.
Representatives for Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, in a statement earlier this week about the dispute, Google denied that it has asked for access to Roku user data, or that it is seeking to interfere with the search results for Roku in its platform.
Google has stated that they are working on resolving this issue for the sake of their mutual users, according to The Verge.
YouTube TV Subscription
YouTube TV is currently available in the U.S only, and it costs $65 a month after a price hike last summer.
The internet pay-TV service gives the user more than 85 channels, including CBS, ABC, NBC TV, and Fox in almost all markets.
YouTube TV also gives a DVR with unlimited storage space, plus up to six accounts per household and up to three concurrent streams, USA Today reported.
Carriage disputes between pay-TV operators and networks is not a new issue, and Roku has had it share of disagreements with content providers.
In 2020, the dispute held out for months before reaching deals for WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock and adding those apps to its platforms.
Roku argues that the current fight with Google is about Google abusing its dominant position with YouTube, in an effort to extract unfair content-search advantages and put Roku’s hardware business at the mercy of Google’s technical demands.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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