Q. I accidentally deleted my Spectrum TV app from my Roku box and I can’t get it back. I know the companies are fighting over something, but is there anything new? Are they close to a new agreement? I can’t download the app anymore!! — Sherry, Chincoteague, Virginia.
Sherry, Roku two months ago removed Charter’s Spectrum TV app from its Channel Store in the latest carriage dispute involving the streaming device maker.
The app, which allows Charter’s Spectrum subscribers to watch live TV and On Demand programming, is still available for Roku owners who have previously downloaded it. However, you can no longer download it from the Roku Channel Store, and if you uninstall it from your Roku menu, you will not be able to replace it, as you obviously understand all too well.
In addition, many Roku/Spectrum subscribers say their apps have mysteriously disappeared from their menus although they have done nothing to trigger their deletion.
To your question, is there anything new? Unfortunately, the answer is no and there’s no indication that a settlement between the companies is imminent. Charter still has the same web page up urging people not to delete their apps (if they were downloaded prior to the fee fight) while Roku continues to say next to nothing when asked about the stalemate.
If you want to look for precedents for how long this battle will last, Roku removed the AT&T TV app from its Channel Store in January 2020 when the companies were fighting over fees.
They didn’t reach a new agreement until May 2020.
That doesn’t mean Roku vs. Spectrum TV will last five months, but it does mean that the device maker is willing to play hardball to get its way now. In past years, Roku was more inclined to make concessions to add as many interesting streaming channels as possible to lure new customers. But now that it has more than 50 million accounts, it’s ready to flex its muscles.
Sherry, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann