On Thursday, the NFL said digital streaming platforms for the Super Bowl will include NFL.com, Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, Yahoo Sports, and respective San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chief mobile platforms.
The decision comes about 24 hours after Roku said on Thursday night that Fox's suite of apps, including Fox, Fox Sports and Fox Nation, would no longer be available through Roku devices on January 31. "Our distribution contract with FOX Corp is set to expire on January 31, so FOX channels were removed from the Roku Channel Store". Platforms like Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV are the new gatekeepers of the channels that stream into people's homes. Only Roku can remove our apps from your device, and we've not asked them to do that. Only Roku can pull apps from its customers' devices, and we would urge them to stop the intimidation tactics and reconsider the merits of irritating their best customers in pursuit of Roku's own interests.
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Roku and Fox Corp. announced that they reached a deal to keep Fox's channels on the device maker's platform, an 11th-hour agreement that means Fox apps will be available for Roku users to stream Sunday's Super Bowl. "Fox's leading suite of apps will continue to be available on the Roku platform". Roku also said the Fox negotiations have been dragging on for months.
This deal comes after Roku warned Roku owners that if a deal was not reached by the end of today, Roku would be forced to remove all FOX owned Roku Channels. "We will no longer have the legal right to distribute their content".
The statement, while attempting to place blame squarely on Roku, fails to acknowledge that Roku customers have plenty of other options for viewing FOX content and the big game.