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An update to our YouTube TV members on Roku

The latest on our contract negotiations with Roku and ensuring members continue to have access to YouTube TV.

We launched YouTube TV four years ago to bring you the TV content you love, delivered the way you want. From day one, we’ve worked to listen to your feedback to improve the experience, bring the content providers you enjoy and make the app available on as many devices as possible. We’ve been working with Roku to renew our deal to distribute YouTube TV on their devices. Despite our best efforts to come to an agreement in the best interests of our mutual users, Roku terminated our deal in bad faith amidst our negotiation. Unfortunately, Roku has often engaged in this tactic with other streaming providers. 

The most important thing for us is to make sure you are taken care of, and that the experience of our shared users is a good one. As we post this, existing users still have access to YouTube TV on Roku devices. We encourage Roku not to remove the YouTube TV app so that existing users can continue enjoying the service. 

We wanted to explain how we have been negotiating in good faith on behalf of our YouTube TV members:

  • Our initial conversations started with Roku simply to renew the current terms of their ongoing deal with YouTube TV, which has been in place for several years. Our offer to Roku was simple and still stands: renew the YouTube TV deal under the existing reasonable terms. 

However, Roku chose to use this as an opportunity to renegotiate a separate deal encompassing the YouTube main app, which does not expire until December. 

Our agreements with partners have technical requirements to ensure a high quality experience on YouTube. Roku requested exceptions that would break the YouTube experience and limit our ability to update YouTube in order to fix issues or add new features. For example, by not supporting open-source video codecs, you wouldn’t be able to watch YouTube in 4K HDR or 8K even if you bought a Roku device that supports that resolution. 

We can’t give Roku special treatment at the expense of users. To be clear, we have never, as they have alleged, made any requests to access user data or interfere with search results. This claim is baseless and false.

We understand the concern members may have about this and we don’t take this lightly. We are committed to ensuring our members continue to have access to YouTube TV and will continue advocating on behalf of our members.