Roku, the streaming TV/video set-top-box maker -- and growing content provider -- has raised the bar in striking new higher-profile TV programming deals with Time Warner Cable and another with
broadcast network Fox.
Time Warner Cable will provide some 300 linear "live" channels to customers with Roku boxes through Time Warner Cable's new entertainment app. It's the first time that Time Warner Cable has struck a deal with a streaming device.
Fox will provide next-day access to its prime-time shows through its Fox Now app. Users will be allowed access to Fox shows if they can confirm their monthly subscriptions from participating multichannel TV network providers. The moves are in keeping with major media/TV networks' "TV Everywhere" efforts.
These deals were among a dozen new deals that Roku announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday. Other deals included Blockbuster On Demand, PBS, PBS Kids, iHeartRadio and Big Fish Unlimited.
Roku uses entertainment apps in the same way new smart TVs have employed these entertainment apps. Other see these apps as "channels" -- much like how a traditional set-top box works from a cable, satellite or telco company. Roku also has struck deals with TV set makers.
These aren't the first hardware deals for Time Warner Cable or the Fox network.
Some years ago, Time Warner Cable made a similar announcement to put apps on other hardware -- connected TVs manufactured by Samsung and Sony. Fox's entertainment app, Fox Now, has been available on XBox Live and Samsung Smart TV.
Roku has some 700 program deals in all for the U.S. market, including big cable networks HBO (for its HBO Go app) and Epix, as well as deals with Netflix, Hulu Plus, and CNBC, among others.