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The Roku vs. Spectrum Battle Reaches Its 6-Month Mark

Jeff Kotuby

It’s never good when large companies do battle, but it’s really not good when that fight lasts for 6 months.

Roku, one of the largest providers of streaming devices, and Spectrum, the second-largest cable provider in the United States, have officially been fighting for 6 months, meaning new Roku customers still can’t download the Spectrum app on their devices — and haven’t been able to do so since December.

The lack of a Spectrum app doesn’t even seem to be the biggest carriage dispute for Roku, either. The platform is still at an impasse with Google’s YouTube TV, a scuffle that’s gotten nasty by tech company standards over the past few weeks. Roku removed YouTube TV, but left the regular YouTube app on their platform. Google, in a move that’s illegal at worst and shady at best, added a YouTube TV portal to the regular YouTube app, circumventing the ban. There’s been no movement since, which might be a telling sign for the future of both the Roku/Google fight and the Roku/Spectrum fight.

During his company’s Q1 2021 earnings call, Roku’s SVP and GM of the company’s platform business Scott Rosenberg said he didn’t “have anything new to provide” when it came to the stalemate. “We’re working to resolve this in a positive way for Roku and Google and, ultimately, for consumers,” he said. He made no mention of Spectrum throughout the call, which might mean the worst for Spectrum subscribers who want to use the app on their Roku device. But, as we’ve said multiple times in these past months — never say never.

The good news here is that, if you’ve already downloaded the Spectrum app, you can still access content as normal, at least for now. If you’re concerned about losing access to your Spectrum app, it is also available on iOS and Android devices, Samsung smart TVs, and Xbox gaming consoles.

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