Ding Ding Ding – Roku vs YouTube TV – Round 1

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NEWS – If you are a Roku user, you probably already know this.  Roku and Google are in a cage fight.  The stakes?  Your ability to watch YouTube TV on your Roku device.

A few days ago, I got an email from Roku stating that they were fighting with Google over Google business terms.  Roku didn’t agree with them, specifically items surrounding Google’s use of Roku user’s data.  I’m not making any value judgments here, simply reporting on the fact that if they don’t both start playing nice, you’re not going to be able to watch YouTube TV on Roku.

Today (4/30/2021), that threat became reality…sort of.  In a new email, Roku let users know that Roku’s YouTube TV contract has indeed expired.  Existing users will be able to continue watching YouTube TV for now.  But users must not delete the YouTube TV app as you can no longer install the YouTube TV app on Roku devices.

So for now, if you’re using YouTube TV on Roku, you can continue, but nobody knows for how long.  If you just picked up a Roku and were planning on watching YouTube TV…

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Here’s hoping that they work it out.

3 thoughts on “Ding Ding Ding – Roku vs YouTube TV – Round 1”

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  2. Maybe it’s time for an open source gate stick, funded by a consortium that includes all of the players, Google, Netflix, Disney and even Roku. That way everybody gets to have their service present and the existing gate-keeper (Roku in this case) can no longer extort favorable conditions due. Maybe Google is also to blame but in the end it’s about money. Set the rules and nobody has the right or ability to yank a channel.

  3. Here is the other side of the story. I am a YouTube TV subscriber (but not on Roku). Here is the email I received from Google, a couple of days ago. Note that it says Google wanted to redo the contract under existing terms. There isn’t any mention of the things that Roku talks about. I would recommend doing what I did. I tossed the Roku in the trash, about six months ago, and bought the Chromecast with google TV.

    Hi Brad,

    Our goal with YouTube TV is to offer you the content you love, delivered in the way you want — including on all of your favorite devices. To make this happen, we enter into agreements with partners in order to enable access to YouTube TV via different devices.

    Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we have been unable to reach an agreement with Roku. We continue to offer Roku the opportunity to renew the YouTube TV deal under the existing, reasonable terms.

    If you are not currently using Roku, you should not have any issues. For our Roku users, as we send this, you still have access to YouTube TV on Roku devices; however, Roku may choose to remove the YouTube TV app from their devices. We encourage Roku to continue providing the YouTube TV app for our mutual users.

    Should Roku decide to remove the YouTube TV app from their platform, you can still cast to your Roku device from your mobile device, tablet, or computer by following these simple steps. You can also continue to access the app using all of the devices listed here.

    In light of Roku’s current stance, we encourage you to reach out to their customer support team to request they keep YouTube TV on Roku devices here or tweet @roku.

    We are committed to ensuring our members continue to have access to YouTube TV and will continue advocating on behalf of our members. For further updates on this issue and our efforts to resolve it, please visit this website.

    The YouTube TV team

    1. Brad:
      I also received emails from both Roku and Google. I’m not making any judgement of who is right or wrong in this confrontation, simply reporting that the confrontation exists. I am also not making any comment on the merits of the arguments.

      I remain hopeful that the two parties can reach an agreement and Roku users can continue to enjoy YouTube TV.

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