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The Roku Channel Picks Up More Exclusive Originals After Inking Movie Deal With Saban Corp.

Michael King

The Roku Channel, fresh off of launching more than 25 free new channels and content under its Roku Originals banner, is showing no signs of slowing down.

The platform announced Thursday that they have signed a deal with Saban Films for the pay-1 window to movies released by Saban.

Under the deal, titles from Saban’s 2021 releases will stream for free on The Roku Channel as soon as three months after their theatrical and home entertainment release. The films will be available for free, with limited commercial breaks.

Viewers get to see new Saban titles starting June 15, when “Echo Boomers”, starring Michael Shannon and Patrick Schwarzenegger airs. Future titles that are part of the deal include “Happily”, starring Joel Mchale and Kerry Bishé; ”Percy vs. Goliath”, starring Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci, and Zach Braff; and ”Under the Stadium Lights” with Laurence Fishburne and Milo Gibson.

Additional titles will be announced at a later date.

According to Deadline, Roku VP of Programming Rob Holmes said that feature films have been a key ingredient of the Roku Channel’s growth since its launch in 2017.

“We’re not an SVOD, so overall there are just different economics,” Holmes said when asked to compare the deal with recent pay-1 deals like Sony’s watershed agreement with Netflix.

Earlier this year, Roku acquired the video content from the now-defunct mobile video Quibi platform, and launched it earlier this month on The Roku Channel under the “Roku Originals” banner. The channel also acquired content from the classic PBS series “This Old House.”

Viewers do not require a Roku device in order to view The Roku Channel. It is available in the United States, Canada, and the U.K., on Amazon Fire TV, certain Samsung TVs, and through the web, iOS, and Android mobile devices.

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