Roku Inc. is on pace for a more than two-month low Friday as the company began notifying customers that FOX channels will be not accessible on its platform ahead of the network’s Super Bowl broadcast this weekend.
Beginning Jan. 31 “all standalone FOX channels will no longer be available on Roku streaming devices,” the company said in an e-mail. Roku encouraged customers to continue using its system to access FOX channels through other streaming apps, including: FuboTV, SlingTV, YouTube TV and Hulu’s live TV option.
The news sent the stock on an abrupt downward trend, falling as much as 6.1% intraday to $122.68 per share as of 10:18 a.m. in New York, its lowest since November. Shares in Fox Corp. fell 0.9% intraday.
Roku’s notice to customers come as a distribution agreement with Fox is scheduled to expire, after hosting the network’s channels for years. The dispute could be a big blow to Fox prior to Sunday’s match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
According to a Fox spokesperson, “Roku’s threat to delete FOX apps from its customers’ devices is a naked effort to use its customers as pawns. Only Roku can pull apps from its customers’ devices, and we would urge them to stop the intimidation tactics and reconsider the merits of irritating their best customers in pursuit of Roku’s own interests.”