A little more than 24 hours after it alerted customers about a blackout of Fox channels -- just two days before the Super Bowl -- set-top-box service Roku says it has struck a new distribution deal with Fox Corp. to carry its streaming apps.
Financial details were not disclosed. The news was revealed in a tweet late Friday night.
“We are delighted that we reached an agreement with Fox to distribute Fox channels on the Roku platform. Roku customers can stream the Super Bowl through Fox Now, Fox Sports and NFL in addition to other ways.”
Fox Television Network and a number of digital platforms, including Fox apps, are airing the big game on Sunday, Feb. 2. As of Nov. 2019, Roku said it had 30.5 million active accounts.
Late on Thursday, Roku said it was taking Fox channels off its service due to a disagreement on renewing a carriage contract about to expire. This included Fox Now, Fox Sports, Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Soccer, Big Ten Network and Fox Nation.
It directed customers to try other services — FuboTV, Hulu+Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV — which could offer free trials. Roku also said if customers had a Roku TV, it could access Fox via a digital antenna.
In response to this action yesterday, Fox issued this statement:
“Roku’s threat to delete Fox apps from its customers’ devices is a naked effort to use its customers as pawns. To be clear, Fox has not asked Roku to remove our apps, and we would prefer Roku continue to make them available without interruption.”
“Roku’s tactics are a poorly timed negotiating ploy, fabricating a crisis with no thought for the alarm it generated among its own customers... Only Roku can pull apps from its customers’ devices, and we would urge them to stop the intimidation tactics.”
On Thursday, Roku’s stock closed down 7.4% to $120.95; Fox Corp. stock was off 0.4% to $36.33.
Before the incident, the NFL said digital streaming platforms airing the Super Bowl will include NFL.com, Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, Yahoo Sports and respective San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chief mobile platforms. It added that all apps will be “free on all devices.”