For the past couple of weeks, Roku and Google have been going back and forth as the two companies have been working on negotiations for the YouTube TV app. Considering that this is one of the best streaming TV options for those who want to cut the cord, it may come as a shock to Roku owners.
Earlier in the week (courtesy of 9to5Google), Roku sent an email stating the following:
Ensuring a great streaming experience at an exceptional value is the core of our business. We will always stand up for our users, which is why we cannot accept Google’s unfair and anticompetitive requirements to manipulate your search results, impact the usage of your data and ultimately cost you more.
While we are deeply disappointed in Google’s decision to use their monopoly power to try and force terms that will directly harm streamers, we remain committed to reaching an agreement with Google that preserves your access to YouTube TV, protects your data and ensures a level playing field for companies to compete.
It seems that Roku and Google can’t agree on terms as to what Google is asking for from Roku. After Roku sent the email to its users, Google responded with a statement of its own (via The Verge):
We have been working with Roku in good faith to reach an agreement that benefits our viewers and their customers. Unfortunately, Roku often engages in these types of tactics in their negotiations. We’re disappointed that they chose to make baseless claims while we continue our ongoing negotiations. All of our work with them has been focused on ensuring a high quality and consistent experience for our viewers. We have made no requests to access user data or interfere with search results. We hope we can resolve this for the sake of our mutual users.
Unfortunately, it appears as though Roku has had enough, as the company removed the YouTube TV app from its streaming devices starting today. In the company’s official statement, Roku claimed that the contract “has expired”, and that the YouTube TV app has been removed from the channel store. However, if you’ve already been using YouTube TV, there’s some good news.
In the event that you’ve been using YouTube TV and already had it installed on your Roku, you will be able to continue using it. Plus, even if you remove it completely from your Roku, you will be able to go back and re-install it at a later time or on another device with the same account.