If you were hoping to use the Fox Sports app toon a Roku this weekend, you may need to start making other plans. On Thursday evening, Roku sent an email to customers alerting them that starting tomorrow, Jan. 31, it will be removing the Fox app from its platform.
“On January 31, 2020, all standalone Fox channels will no longer be available on Roku streaming devices,” the company wrote in the note. While it does not mention the Super Bowl specifically, Roku goes on to advise customers interested in watching Fox programming to look at using the Fubo, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV or Sling TV apps, even mentioning that many offer free trials.
Those with a Roku TV, as opposed to a streaming stick or box, are advised to consider getting an antenna that would allow them to watch Fox broadcasts for free over-the-air.
At issue seems to be the distribution agreement between Fox and Roku to carry the broadcaster’s apps on Roku’s platform.
“Roku’s distribution agreement with Fox Corp is set to expire on Jan. 31,” Tricia Mifsud, Roku’s vice president of corporate communications, told CNET in an email. “We offered Fox an extension so that Roku can continue to bring a large and valuable audience to Fox. If an agreement is not reached, we will be forced to remove Fox channels from the Roku platform.”
Mifsud added that the company’s “discussions with Fox continue and we hope that Fox will work to reach an agreement soon.”
If you already downloaded the Fox Sports app, you still will need to make other plans as once the agreement ends the app will stop functioning and will be deleted from customers’ Roku devices and TVs.
Fox, which previously touted Roku on its website as one of the ways to stream the Super Bowl in HD and 4K, has removed all references to Roku with a noticeable gap on the page where the Roku logo used to be.
The Fox Sports site continues to list Amazon’s Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV as some of the many places its app is available (with the Apple TV 4K and Amazon Fire TV 4K).
Those with an Xbox, Samsung Smart TV or iOS or Android device can also still stream the Super Bowl, as can users watching on a computer.
Fox Sports did not immediately respond to a CNET request for comment.