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Google strikes back at Roku with YouTube TV workaround

Your move, Roku.

Google strikes back at Roku with YouTube TV workaround

Roku and Google are fighting over YouTube TV.

Image: YouTube TV

Google is escalating its dispute with Roku over YouTube TV: The company is implementing a workaround that will make YouTube TV available within the existing YouTube app, thus ensuring that subscribers will continue to have access to the pay TV service even if (or when) Roku blocks access to the YouTube TV app.

In a blog post, YouTube announced that the workaround would be available on Roku devices in the coming days, and would come to additional devices over time. The streaming service also said that it was "in discussions with other partners to secure free streaming devices in case YouTube TV members face any access issues on Roku."

Roku announced last week that it was removing YouTube TV from its app store due to disagreements over licensing terms, which include Google's insistence that future Roku devices implement the AV1 video codec. However, at least for now, Roku has not removed access to the app for existing subscribers.

In its blog post Friday, YouTube said that it was "in ongoing, long-term conversations with Roku to certify that new devices meet our technical requirements."

Roku responded Friday afternoon by calling Google's latest steps "the clear conduct of an unchecked monopolist bent on crushing fair competition and harming consumer choice."

Update: This post was updated with Roku's statement.

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