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Roku adds CTV channels to its streaming device line up

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TORONTO — Roku is adding CTV channels to the offerings on its streaming device.

After several years of holding out, CTV's owner Bell Media struck an agreement with Roku Inc. to launch a CTV-branded app with an array of live and on-demand programming from the media company's various brands.

However, much of the entertainment is locked for anyone who doesn't subscribe to cable.

All Roku users will have free access to new episodes of CTV network shows, as well as a selection of classic TV series on CTV Throwback, Hollywood films on CTV Movies, and youth-skewing programs on MTV. All of those channels will be supported by commercial breaks.

However, CTV's specialty channels and live TV feeds will only be accessible to viewers who have a log-in for a cable TV account. That means popular brands such as CTV Comedy Channel, CTV Life Channel, Discovery and Animal Planet, will be mostly unavailable to those who've cut the cord.

Roku is one of Canada's most popular digital media players with set-top devices, streaming sticks and software that's built into some smart TVs, giving viewers easy access to Netflix, Prime Video and other streaming options.

The platform already houses apps for some of Canada's other major broadcasters, including one for Global programming and a CBC app that offers access to streams of local stations.

The CTV agreement expands on a partnership with Bell Media which operates a Roku app for its Crave subscription streaming service.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2022.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

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