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Roku soars on new deal with Google to keep streaming YouTube

<i>Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg/Getty Images</i><br/>
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg/Getty Images

By Paul R. La Monica, CNN Business

Roku customers no longer have to worry about losing access to the channels of their favorite creators. The company announced a new content deal Wednesday with Google that will keep the main YouTube app on its streaming service and also bring back the YouTube TV live app.

“Effective today, we have agreed to a multi-year extension with Google for YouTube and YouTube TV,” Roku said in a tweet on its verified Twitter account.

Terms of the new business deal were not revealed by either company.

“This agreement represents a positive development for our shared customers, making both YouTube and YouTube TV available for all streamers on the Roku platform,” Roku added. That’s good news for Roku’s 56.4 million active users.

Shares of Roku surged 18% on the news to $256 a share, although the stock is still down about 25% this year and has plunged nearly 50% from its all-time high of more than $490 from June of this year.

Like Zoom, Peloton and other companies that benefited from the “stay at home” trend during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Roku’s stock has pulled back as the economy has returned to normal.

Shares of Alphabet, the parent company of YouTube and Google, were flat Wednesday.

Roku’s deal with YouTube TV ended in April and Roku pulled the app off its platform as a result. YouTube TV offers live streams of nearly 100 popular channels, including ESPN, CBS, Fox News and CNN, as well as other AT&T/WarnerMedia-owned networks such as TNT and TBS.

The new agreement means that the main YouTube app will stay on Roku as well.

Google’s previous business arrangement with Roku was set to expire this Thursday, meaning that any new users would have been unable to download the YouTube app from the Roku store unless an arrangement was struck.

The battle between the two companies had turned nasty before they buried the hatchet.

Roku said in an October update to customers that “this kind of blatant retaliation and monopoly conduct is likely why the U.S. Department of Justice and 30 State Attorneys General are investigating Google for violating fair competition laws.”

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