Roku, Time Warner Cable strike a deal

January 7, 2013

Roku and Time Warner Cable struck a CES deal that will put some of the cable company’s content into Roku’s streaming devices.

Announcing their new partnership in time for the International CES, Time Warner Cable said its subscribers will have access to up to 300 streaming channels through Roku devices at launch. The cable company did not specify which its 29 national markets will gain access to the service.

Time Warner Cable’s TWC TV app is already on Apple iPhones, Macs, PCs, Android tablets and Android phones. But adding Roku to the mix gives the cable company a way to convince “cord-cutters” to hang on to their cable subscriptions in order to stream live television.

In any case, being on more devices certainly doesn’t hurt Time Warner, which can cover its bases by selling content to the very companies that threaten its subscriber base.

And, of course, adding any content to Roku’s platform helps the streaming video service as it expands its footprint. Roku also announced six new partners that will use its Roku Streaming Stick to instantly make their televisions into smart, Web-enabled sets. Now 14 television makers are using Roku’s platform, including Westinghouse Digital.

That, too, is a smart move as it gives the service a much wider reach and makes it an attractive partner for hardware makers.

“As demand for streaming entertainment continues to grow, there is more interest from consumer electronics manufacturers, particularly TV makers, who are looking to introduce streaming features to their devices,” Roku spokeswoman Ha Thai wrote in a company blog post. “Rather than invest in building and maintaining their own platforms, many are turning to Roku.”

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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