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Roku reaches agreement with Fox to allow Super Bowl streaming

Football fans hoping to watch the Super Bowl via Roku tomorrow will be pleased to hear that the platform has hammered out a last-minute agreement with content supplier Fox.

Earlier this week, Roku announced it would pull all Fox cable channels from its platform beginning today, February 1. That would have meant that Roku users would be unable to watch the Super Bowl via their Roku devices and would need to turn to another service such as Hulu or SlingTV.

This news angered many Roku users, not only because they were losing access to channels but also because the announcement came so close to the big game. Fox and Roku have been in an ongoing licensing dispute and their original contract was set to expire on January 31, hence the cut-off date.

Now, though, Roku and Fox have reached an agreement and Roku has announced that it will continue to carry Fox channels, including showing the Super Bowl. “We are delighted that we reached an agreement with FOX to distribute FOX channels on the Roku platform,” Roku said in a statement to The Verge. “Roku customers can stream the Super Bowl through FOX Now, Fox Sports, and NFL in addition to other ways.”

Fox also put out its own statement announcing the agreement, saying, “We are pleased to have reached a successful agreement with Roku. FOX’s leading suite of apps will continue to be available on the Roku platform.”

Both companies are keeping quiet about the specific details of the agreement and about the source of the original conflict. However, some commentators have speculated that Roku could have been seeking payment to carry Fox content on its platform. As the biggest name in streaming in the U.S., Roku has considerable power over content suppliers. However, Fox has the exclusive rights to the biggest sports event in the calendar, so it has leverage of its own.

The agreement means Roku users will be able to watch the Super Bowl, not to mention the Super Bowl commercials, live. The event can also be streamed via the Fox Sports and Fox Now apps, or via the NFL app on Roku, as well as through Fubo TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.

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Georgina Torbet
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