When you think about Roku, forget cable killer. How about cable partner? The video streaming service recently signed a deal with Time Warner Cable to launch the op’s dedicated channel, TWC TV, on Roku, allowing subs to stream live programming for free. “This will be the first time TWC TV is available on a consumer streaming device connected to a TV,” said Mike Angus, TWC svp and gm of video.
Time Warner is far from alone in trying to get on the streaming wagon. Roku also is partnering with DISH to offer its subscription-based service. Comcast Xfinity made its On Demand content available to subs through Xbox 360 and TiVo Premiere boxes. And AT&T U-Verse continues to explore options to make TV content available on tablets and mobile devices, a spokeswoman said. U-Verse subs can stream Internet video to their TV with the Twonky Beam app, which lets subs “beam” their video from a smartphone to a TV. DirecTV sees Roku as “a good alternative” for consumers but “at this stage we are focused on our TV everywhere initiatives on mobile devices and our set top box VOD product,” a DirecTV spokesman said. “We believe connected devices, in general, are important to pay TV providers and will see different applications by each. DIRECTV is focused on its RVU alliance to ensure there is a very open standard for any connected device to interoperate with DIRECTV hardware” he said.