The YouTube TV channel has been removed from the Roku store, stopping consumers from being able to download the live TV streaming service on their devices. This follows on from the news of a dispute that surfaced earlier in the week, and confirms the two companies have yet to reach an agreement. It currently remains to be seen when the YouTube TV app will be available to download again.
Roku and YouTube TV are both extremely popular in their own right. While YouTube TV provides live TV over the internet to millions of subscribers, Roku provides streaming access to services like YouTube TV to millions of homes. Therefore, with both of these companies now seemingly in disagreement with each other, the outcome is expected to affect a significant number of consumers.
Following reports of a dispute that had arisen between Roku and YouTube TV over changes to an exciting carriage deal, Roku now appears to have removed the YouTube TV channel from its store. The immediate effect of this is that consumers can no longer download the app on their Roku player or smart TV powered by Roku OS. The app itself is still listed in the Roku store, and those performing a search for YouTube TV will see it in the results. However, when attempting to add the channel, the store redirects back to the home page.
In an email sent out to affected users, Roku explains the decision to remove YouTube TV was not financially motivated, but made due to Google unable to agree to certain data protections. As the email (a copy can be seen here) explains, Roku says it “cannot accept Google unfair and anticompetitive requirements that would allow for the manipulation of your search results, impact the usage of your data and ultimately cost you more.”
Existing YouTube TV downloads remain unaffected for now
While access to the YouTube TV channel has now been removed on Roku devices, those that have already downloaded the app remain unaffected. In the email, Roku makes it clear that anyone who has already downloaded YouTube TV on their Roku player or smart TV will continue to be able to access the service as normal. However, that is caveated by the fact that Roku says it could be forced to fully remove the channel in the future, dependent on the actions of Google.
For now, the change ultimately only affects those Roku users who are subscribers to YouTube TV but have not downloaded the app yet, as well as those who might have been considering going with YouTube TV in the future and downloading the app. For any user that already had the YouTube TV channel on their device, it is important the channel is not deleted. If it is, then the same user won’t be able to download YouTube TV on their Roku device again. That is until a deal is reached.