Roku customers can no longer download the YouTube TV app after Google terminates its contract with the TV streaming service.
Roku said it removed the YouTube TV app from its platform on Friday because contract negotiations with app owner Google have turned sour. The breakdown has no impact on customers who have already downloaded the app, Roku said. New customers can still access YouTube, just not YouTube TV.
“We’re disappointed that Google is letting our YouTube TV expiration agreement expire,” a Roku spokesman said in a statement. “Roku did not ask for an extra dollar from Google to upgrade YouTube TV.”
Earlier this weekto try to amend the contract in such a way that prices rise for users and create an unfair competitive advantage. In particular, Roku claimed that Google wanted to implement new memory cards in Roku devices that would add to the cost of the hardware. According to Roku, Google also wanted other competing streaming services not to see YouTube TV users’ search history.
Google said in a blog post on Friday it had started negotiations with Roku in hopes of renewing the contract on the same terms as in previous years. However, Roku wanted to renegotiate the terms of service for YouTube TV and the main YouTube app, Google said. Changes that Roku wanted on YouTube would have limited the ability to update, fix, or add new features to the app, Google said.
“Despite our efforts to reach an agreement in the best interests of our mutual users, Roku maliciously terminated our deal during our negotiations,” said Google, adding, “We have never made any inquiries, as they have claimed User data or degradation of search results. This claim is unfounded and false. “
Roku’s argument with Google comes while the tech giant is in the middleand dozens of attorneys general.
YouTube TV, which launched in 2017, is a subscription service that allows users to stream live television channels. It had over 3 million users last October. Roku has more than 51 million users, up from 37 million in 2020.
Roku told customers in an email on Friday that the company was working to ensure existing customers can continue to use YouTube TV.
“It is also important that you do not delete the YouTube TV app as it cannot be downloaded on Roku devices,” the email said.