The YouTube TV app was removed from Roku devices recently after the two companies failed to agree on terms to renew its distribution agreement. According to Roku, Google was making numerous 'anti-competitive demands' including preferential treatment of YouTube TV and YouTube on the Roku platform.
Google is now informing customers of a new way to access its streaming TV service on Roku devices.
Existing members can easily access YouTube TV by clicking on “Go to YouTube TV” in the main YouTube app. This update will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku over the next few days, and we will expand to as many devices as we can over time.
Additionally, the company says it is "in discussions with other partners to secure free streaming devices in case YouTube TV members face any access issues on Roku."
Roku has issued a statement on the move, accusing the company of being an unchecked monopolist.
Google’s actions are the clear conduct of an unchecked monopolist bent on crushing fair competition and harming consumer choice. The bundling announcement by YouTube highlights the kind of predatory business practices used by Google that Congress, Attorney Generals and regulatory bodies around the world are investigating. Roku has not asked for one additional dollar in financial value from YouTubeTV. We have simply asked Google to stop their anticompetitive behavior of manipulating user search results to their unique financial benefit and to stop demanding access to sensitive data that no other partner on our platform receives today. In response, Google has continued its practice of blatantly leveraging its YouTube monopoly to force an independent company into an agreement that is both bad for consumers and bad for fair competition.
Despite Roku's accusations, it does not appear that Google is backing down from its demand that the company support AV1 decoding.
We are also in ongoing, long-term conversations with Roku to certify that new devices meet our technical requirements. This certification process exists to ensure a consistent and high-quality YouTube experience across different devices, including Google’s own--so you know how to navigate the app and what to expect.
Roku says the requirement is unreasonable and will lead to higher device costs.
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