YouTube TV Returns to Roku as Google Strikes New Multiyear Deal

Extensions have been made for both YouTube and YouTube TV

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YouTube TV will return to Roku, and stay there for the foreseeable future, as YouTube owner Google and Roku have struck a new multiyear deal to keep the live-streaming service and YouTube on the platform.

“Roku and Google have agreed to a multi-year extension for both YouTube and YouTube TV,” Roku said in a statement Wednesday. “This agreement represents a positive development for our shared customers, making both YouTube and YouTube TV available for all streamers on the Roku platform.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In October, Google said it would make the YouTube and YouTube TV apps unavailable for Roku users to download beginning Dec. 9. So while existing Roku owners who had both apps installed would be able to use them normally, if you began using a Roku device after Dec. 9 the apps would not be accessible to you.

The standoff between Roku and Google over carrying YouTube and YouTube TV has been ongoing for months, with members of Congress becoming interested in the dispute while lobbying for antitrust legislation in the Big Tech industry.

Roku removed the YouTube TV app from its channel store in April while the tense negotiations raged on. Roku said YouTube TV hadn’t demanded more money ahead of its deal expiration that month, but instead made several “anticompetitive” demands to keep the partnership going.

“We have only asked Google for four simple commitments,” Roku said in a statement at the time. “First, not to manipulate consumer search results. Second, not to require access to data not available to anyone else. Third, not to leverage their YouTube monopoly to force Roku to accept hardware requirements that would increase consumer costs. Fourth, not to act in a discriminatory and anticompetitive manner against Roku.”

Google refuted Roku’s claims as “baseless” and said it has never asked for preferential treatment. Google also accused Roku of using this “tactic” of terminating the YouTube TV carriage deal “in bad faith amidst our negotiation” as an opportunity to renegotiate its agreement with the YouTube app, which was not set to expire until the end of the year.

A workaround to allow customers to keep using YouTube TV on Roku after the deal had ended was created by Google.

YouTube TV’s absence from Roku wasn’t ideal for either party: Roku reported it has around 56.4 million monthly active users as of Q3, and YouTube TV is one of the most popular live TV streaming services on the market, alongside Hulu’s live streaming plan.