Looking to beef up The Roku Channel’s content to compete with fellow free, ad-supported streamers including Peacock, Tubi and Pluto TV, Roku has struck its first pay-one window licensing agreement, with Saban Films.
The deal gives The Roku Channel exclusive rights to offer a selection of Saban’s 2021 film slate in the U.S. and Canada, following theatrical and home entertainment release.
The Roku Channel recently began releasing original TV series and documentaries it acquired last year from the short-lived Quibi streaming service, rebranded as Roku Originals.
“Echo Boomers” (above), starring Michael Shannon and Patrick Schwarzenegger, will be the first Saban film to debut on The Roku Channel, on June 15.
Other Saban films coming on the streamer include “Happily,” starring Joel McHale and Kerry Bishé; “Percy Vs. Goliath (U.S. only), starring Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci and Zach Braff; and “Under the Stadium Lights,” starring Laurence Fishburne and Milo Gibson. Others will be announced at a future date.
Los Angeles-based film acqusition and distribution company Saban Films, owned by Saban Capital Group, is part of Univision Communications and Celestial Tiger Entertainment.
“Saban Films is a great partner with a history of creating standout films,” said Rob Holmes, vice president programming for Roku.
The Roku Channel currently reaches about 70 million U.S. households, and offers access to more than 40,000 free movies and TV shows and 190 live linear channels, according to the company.