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Roku and Fox reach agreement in time to stream Super Bowl 2020

Relax Roku owners, Fox apps will remain on your devices after all.

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David_Katzmaier.jpg
David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier
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After a carriage dispute was resolved, Fox's apps continue to be available on Roku devices.

David Katzmaier/CNET

A carriage dispute between Roku and Fox ended Friday evening as the two companies reached an agreement that kept Fox's apps on Roku streamers and Roku TVs. Those apps include the Fox Sports app, which will allow free streaming of the Super Bowl, in both standard and 4K resolution, this weekend.

Earlier on Friday, Roku had emailed users warning, "On Jan. 31, 2020, all standalone Fox channels will no longer be available on Roku streaming devices." Fox responded by calling Roku's move "a naked effort to use its customers as pawns." The dispute was resolved less than a day later.

"We are pleased to have reached a successful agreement with Roku. Fox's leading suite of apps will continue to be available on the Roku platform," a Fox spokesperson said in a statement. A Roku spokesperson sent CNET a statement identical to the company's tweet announcing the agreement.

Carriage disputes between networks and traditional linear service providers are common, for example last summer when DirecTV customers briefly lost access to CBS. (Disclosure: ViacomCBS is the parent company of CNET.) But they're also beginning to appear among streaming providers. A deal between Amazon and Disney to carry the Disney Plus service on Amazon Fire TV devices, for example, wasn't struck until days before Disney Plus' launch.

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Watch this: The latest TV tech comes to Super Bowl 2020 (The Daily Charge, 1/28/2020)

Update, 11:54 a.m. PT: Adds comments from Fox and Roku.