Yesterday, Roku dropped a bomb on his users. It sent an email explaining that today, two days before the Super Bowl, all Fox apps would disappear. Without Fox Sports you can't watch the biggest NFL game of the year in 4K HDR on Roku TVs and streaming sticks. What is going on?
It feels like a familiar story: a cable service and a premium channel (especially sports channels) get into a fight about rates and the channel is pulled as they resolve the dispute. But Roku is not a cable service and we are days away from the Super Bowl. Certainly, the two would not get into a fight now, would they?
But that's what happens. As reported by The Verge, Roku had mentioned Roku just a few days ago as a method to view the Super Bowl. But all those references have been scrubbed. Roku says it should remove the Fox apps from the stores, and if you have already downloaded them, they will no longer work.
Although it may be easy to blame Fox for taking his service from Roku at the worst possible moment, Fox says this is Roku's decision. In a statement to The Verge it said:
Roku's threat to remove FOX apps from his customers' devices is a naked attempt to use his customers as pawns. For clarity's sake, FOX has not asked Roku to remove our apps, and we would prefer that Roku continues to make them available without interruption. Roku & # 39; s tactic is a poorly timed negotiation trick, which causes a crisis without taking into account the alarm it triggered on its own customers. Even if Roku unilaterally decides to remove FOX apps, smart Roku customers know that Super Bowl LIV on FOX is available everywhere through streaming providers, FOX apps on major streaming platforms and our website. Only Roku can extract apps from his customers' devices, and we would encourage them to stop the harassment tactics and reconsider the merits of irritating their best customers in pursuing Roku & # 39; s own interests.
But Roku maintains Fox's mistake. And it doesn't say it will only remove existing apps; they will stop working even if you had them installed before. But here it is really becoming confusing: despite the doom and gloomy emails that access to Fox apps should be turned off, that doesn't seem to be true – at least not yet.
We tested and were able to find and download the Fox Sports app on two different Roku-powered TVs. Once downloaded, we could log in and watch live TV.
That said, Roku now treats Fox apps as private channels. Private channels are unlisted, non-certified channels that require special codes to download. Roku regards them as & # 39; unofficial apps & # 39 ;. Strangely, they are not usually found by searching – you connect a unique code to the & # 39; add channel & # 39; interface.
In this case, we were able to find the Fox Sports app by searching the Roku interface, and the code was provided directly on the installation screen. It seemed an unnecessary extra step.
We are not sure whether Roku blinked this fight or whether this was the first step to completely remove the channels. Maybe Fox and Roku are working a deal right now.
The only thing we know is that in these cases the real losers are the viewers. If you plan to watch the Super Bowl via Roku, you may want to set up Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV or fuboTV accounts. You may even be able to activate a free trial version if you have not done so in the past.
via the Verge function