YouTube offers solution to Roku ‘retrans’ row | Online Video | News | Rapid TV News
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In the latest move in what is seen as the first digital retransmission battle, days after coming to terms with its premium online TV offer being removed from the online video provider’s grid, YouTube has offered a get-around to Roku users wanting to continue using its service.
Roku YouTube 10 May 2021
On 30 April, Roku took down YouTube TV from its channel offer after claiming that as part of carriage negotiations, the Google-owned online video service had threatened to pull YouTube if Roku did not grant the service preferential access to viewer data and create a dedicated search results row within the Roku interface. Roku also asserted that Google also wanted to Roku to block search results from other streaming content providers while users were using the YouTube app on Roku's system.

"Google is attempting to use its YouTube monopoly position to force Roku into accepting predatory, anti-competitive and discriminatory terms that will directly harm Roku and our users," Roku stated. “Roku is not asking Google for a single additional dollar in value. We simply cannot agree to terms that would manipulate consumer search results, inflate the cost of our products and violate established industry data practices."

YouTube denied the assertions, slamming them as “baseless claims”. A company spokesperson said: “We have made no requests to access user data or interfere with search results.”

The failure to reach consensus saw YouTube TV dropped and as a result YouTube has now published guidance for Roku users as to how to access the YouTube app. The company has introduced a new feature giving access to YouTube TV from within the YouTube app. Existing members can access YouTube TV by clicking on a “Go to YouTube TV” link in the main YouTube app. YouTube says the update will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku over the next few days, and that it will expand the function to as many devices as it can over time.