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Roku Removes Spectrum TV App from Its Channel Store Over Contract Dispute

Phillip Dampier December 14, 2020 Charter Spectrum, Consumer News, Online Video 18 Comments

The next generation of retransmission consent wars is here, as programmers and cable operators do battle with set-top box companies that increasingly seek compensation to allow content on their hardware platforms.

Once again, Roku has triggered a dispute after Charter Communications turned down a contract renewal offer permitting Charter’s Spectrum TV app in Roku’s Channel Store. The app allows customers to stream Spectrum’s cable TV lineup over Roku. Existing users tell Stop the Cap! that the app disappeared from the Channel Store, but previously installed versions still work over Roku. The problem, readers tell us, is there is no way to install or reinstall it on new Roku devices.

Charter noted the issue in a new support article explaining why the app disappeared:

Despite our best efforts to reach an agreement, Roku has not accepted Spectrum’s offer to continue our contract, which allowed customers to access the Spectrum TV app from Roku devices.

This change may prevent new downloads of the Spectrum TV app to your Roku device, but you can still access your full video library by downloading the Spectrum TV app to your Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Xbox, smartphone or tablet.

If you already use the Spectrum TV app on Roku, your service shouldn’t be affected.

Be sure not to uninstall the app, but you can still add devices by signing in to your current account.

If you’re new to Roku, or if you have not yet downloaded the app, you can still access Spectrum programming on another device, or use your smartphone or laptop to screen mirror Spectrum content to your Roku TV.

Find out more about using the Spectrum TV app, or get help to troubleshoot common concerns.

Roku defended its decision but also admitted it now expects compensation from certain providers in return for allowing their apps on Roku’s Channel Store.

“As America’s #1 streaming platform we are committed to providing access to amazing streaming content at an exceptional value for our users,” Roku said in a statement. “Our contract with Charter for the distribution of the Spectrum TV [app] on the Roku platform expired and we are working together to reach a positive and mutually beneficial distribution agreement. All existing customers can continue to use the Charter app while we work together on a renewal.”

Roku’s willingness to battle with programmers became apparent this year as the company continued to keep HBO Max off of its platform. Other programmers that saw their apps temporarily blocked or unsupported include AT&T TV, FOX, and Comcast’s Peacock.

 

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Doug
Doug
2 months ago

Ugh. This is frustrating and sad. Using a Roku in lieu of a set top box was one way to have video programming on second, third, or fourth televisions without having to pay $8.00 per month to rent a set-top box. You also didn’t need to wire those alternate sets, as the Roku receives its content over WiFi. You could put those sets anywhere.

Lets hope these people come to their senses…

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Doug

Spectrum used to recommend this method for secondary TVs.

Chris Faherty
Chris Faherty
2 months ago

Yeah the worst part is that linking multiple devices to a Roku account means that deleting the app on one deletes it on all. Prior to knowing about this whole issue, on Dec 14th no less, I was setting up a new Roku as a Christmas present and the Spectrum app on that device started giving obscure error codes. Figuring it as corrupted I uninstalled on that new device and now I have 3 households (with 3 separate Spectrum accounts) without the Spectrum app since they shared the same Roku account and it wiped the app off of all of… Read more »

Linda
Linda
2 months ago

They are removing it from existing ROKU customers also! This is horrible I went through this with Directv losing some of it’s local stations until they paid up! This is sad that I can’t watch my Spectrum on ROKU after my husband’s surgery and I have to sit in another room to even watch shows I recorded or Spectrum Both companies should be ashamed it is all about the money and not the customer. I thought the customer should come first but evidently not to companies!

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

There is another subtle aspect to this. Many of the channels I watch through the Spectrum apps are also available as standalone apps. They require authentication of the cable channel that provides them. It you are allowed access via a Spectrum subscription, that authentication is blocked.

Joe T
Joe T
1 month ago

They need to get this together. Spectrum is not reliable, over charges for their service and tries to upcharge you. There is no competition in our market (upstate ny) and now the limited function that Specrrum did have is gone. I uninstalled to to try to reinstall in late December because the app was yet again giving us so many errors. Many times the sound would work with no video or nothing but errors. Spectrum is unreliable and this move clearly is about not wanting to pay for their service to be hosted by a reliable product like roku. Given… Read more »

Josie Guardiola
Josie Guardiola
1 month ago

Very Very upset that why I went back to spectrum an bought Roku devices

Phil
Phil
1 month ago

The next time someone tells you that there’s too much government intrusion and regulations on businesses, and we should allow business to “fly free and unfettered” for a strong economy, blah, blah, blah, remember this, where it’s bitten you on your backside. There are plenty of instances of this kind of nonsense where regulations would look out for us. Not to go all “Yoda” on you nice folks, but everything in life is about balance.

John
John
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil

I would still prefer a free market and let the competition work these things out. Less regulations is better for me.

joe smith
joe smith
16 days ago
Reply to  John

cable companies usually don’t have competition in most of the country

Bridgett
Bridgett
1 month ago

Starrcross

Bridgett
Bridgett
1 month ago

Big tech at it as usual! Spectrum is first of all in bed with Samsung. I know this because they push new comers to buy a Samsung because they have the spectrum app built in the TV.
Well this is sort of true. So if you want to ditch your roku….TV buy a Samsung!
I believe they all need to get over their egos and greed and realize the only reason why they’re in business is …… duh because of customers.
Get over yourselves and come to terms or you might lose billions just like Dorsey did week

Melissa
Melissa
1 month ago

Roku needs to acknowledge people buy their devices to stream these quality services. I’ve personally purchased multiple Roku devices and additional Roku TV’s to stream Spectrum’s live tv service. Limiting availability of apps only cheapens Roku’s reputation. Roku and Spectrum owe it to their customers to negotiate a solution. Very annoying!

Paul Iwaniec
Paul Iwaniec
1 month ago

Thanks Roku for making me use a back-up TV antenna. If I would have known you were going to pull something like this, I never would have purchased your devices for both of my TV’s. .. And no, I cannot Mirror the android version of the Spectrum app because my smartphone doesn’t have that feature.

allen
allen
1 month ago

we need a class action against roku. they are restricting our access to content.

Lawyer
Lawyer
15 days ago
Reply to  allen

I agree. Current customers bought the Roku for this reason and now it has been removed. This is an easy class action lawsuit win for pre-December Roku customers to at least be reimburse for their purchase. I bought FOUR Roku’s for this reason and now they are all useless. Roku, better get your act together or you will lose everything, coming for a lawyer.  

Geo
Geo
28 days ago

This is the beginning of the end for Roku. Soon it will be just a memory.

Murph
Murph
14 days ago

Wow Roku! Need more money? You realize that hosting 3rd party apps enhances the reason to buy your products. I bought 2 just for the Spectrum app. Looks like you are pushing me away as a future customer. Your loss due to a poor marketing decision.

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