Crisis averted: Roku and Fox make good before Super Bowl (Update)

Fox channels almost left Roku before Super Bowl 2020.
(Image credit: Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress/Getty Images)

Editor's note: At the end of the day, on Jan. 31, Roku announced it reached an agreement with Fox, and the Fox channels are staying on Roku devices and TVs for the Super Bowl. This article, as it was originally published, continues below:

The Friday before the big game, Roku is poised to drop Fox's "standalone" channels from its platforms. Last night, Roku (according to The Input) sent an email to subscribers, stating that after January 31 (today), Fox's channels won't be available on its streaming devices and TVs.

A Roku statement announced that the company "offered Fox an extension" to the companies' existing contract, and "if an agreement is not reached, we’ll be forced to remove the channels." 

Football fans who rely on Rokus are not out of luck, though. As I explain in my Super Bowl live stream guide, the Fox and Fox Sports channels aren't the only way to watch the big game on a Roku. It'll be available on live TV streaming services, including Fubo (which has a 7-day free trial), which is streaming the Super Bowl in 4K.

And, yes, this might just be a case of bad timing and companies playing chicken. The Roku Support account on Twitter explained that the "Our distribution contract with FOX Corp is set to expire on Jan. 31." Considering how bad this would look for both companies, it's not far-fetched to expect them to resolve things well before Sunday morning.

The full Roku statement reads:

Roku’s distribution agreement with FOX Corp is set to expire on Jan. 31. 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.

Meanwhile customers can view FOX programming including the big game in many other ways on the Roku platform including through Fubo, Sling TV, Hulu Live, You Tube TV and other ways. Many offer free trials for new customers.

Our discussions with Fox continue and we hope that Fox will work to reach an agreement soon.

Yes, this is the exact kind of nonsense we wish we were leaving behind when we cut the cord, but it seems that corporate disputes will follow us through each and every technological advancement. Want to avoid all of this confusion? One of our picks for the best TV antenna would be a great way to cut through all the middle-men and grab the signal out of the sky.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.