Roku Nabs $45 Mil, Expands Ad Efforts

Roku, the over-the-top viewing facilitator, has received a $45 million investment from News Corp., BSKyB and current venture capitalist investors Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners, plus an unnamed entity.

Roku said it will use the funds for advertising and international expansion, among other efforts.

The company also plans to debut a “streaming stick” product this fall, a wireless device that allows connections with smart TVs and other devices linked with a TV.  

Recently, Roku took an additional step in the U.K., where BSkyB operates, by adding the BBC iPlayer to its content portfolio, where Netflix and FoxNews.com are also available.

News Corp. Chief Digital Officer Jon Miller will join the Roku board.

Launched in 2008, Roku offers access in the U.S. with its streaming service to MLB.tv, HBO Go and DishWorld.

Even as Roku could facilitate cord-cutting, Dish Network reached a deal to provide it with the DishWorld package of 50-plus international channels --including in Hindi and Urdu -- and offering plenty of live cricket. Dish, however, said the arrangement gives it reach into urban homes where satellite service can be tough to pick up.

Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku launched in Canada in April. The company was founded by Anthony Wood, who remains CEO. The company says Wood invented the DVR.

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