The dispute between Roku and Google that has resulted in the temporary removal of YouTube TV from the platform doesn’t look likely to be solved anytime soon. During Roku’s second quarter earnings call, the company touched on many aspects, including briefly on the YouTube situation, noting that it is still ongoing and without a solution.
Earlier this year, the YouTube TV app was removed from the Roku platform. While those that already had the app downloaded on their Roku device were able to keep using YouTube TV, the situation meant the app couldn’t be downloaded on new Roku players. YouTube did roll out a workaround that allows subscribers to access YouTube TV throughout the main YouTube app, but it is limited compared to the full experience and doesn’t allow new signups to the live TV streaming service.
During Roku’s Q2 2021 earnings call, Roku executives confirmed the situation is no closer to being resolved. The executives explained that there is currently no resolution or new information to provide. In addition, the opportunity was taken to remind everyone that the YouTube TV situation is not the result of a carriage dispute.
Instead, Roku reiterated that the issue is over access to user data, with Roku stating “We want Google to agree not to try and dictate search behaviors on Roku or access data” while also explaining that it won’t make hardware or software changes that might harm competition on the Roku platform. However, Roku also pointed out that it is continuing to work to resolve the issue in a way that’s good for both users and Google.
The statements made during the earnings call reiterates the points Roku originally made when the situation first arose. Back then, Roku argued that Google and YouTube wanted to make changes that were unfair and anticompetitive, and that could result in manipulation of search results. In contrast, Google and YouTube disagreed with these claims, suggesting it was Roku that pulled the YouTube TV app and that it was not asking for any changes to the existing deal between the two companies.
Regardless of who is to blame for the situation, the comments during the latest earnings call suggest that the situation is far from being resolved. While the two companies appear to be continuing to work on a solution, Roku and YouTube TV users should probably not expect the issue to be resolved in the immediate future.