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Roku Gains More Exclusive Content With New Movie Deal

By Jon Quast - May 27, 2021 at 11:11AM

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The company is trying to attract more viewers to The Roku Channel.

Streaming-TV platform Roku (ROKU -2.51%) is getting more exclusive video content after announcing a deal with Saban Films on Thursday. Following theatrical and home-entertainment releases, Roku will get exclusive pay-one window rights to the slate of films and will make them available on its ad-supported Roku Channel. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

A pay-one window gives Roku a period of exclusive broadcast rights. Such deals are common. For example, Netflix recently signed a pay-one deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment, part of parent company Sony, for its movie library. However, while common in the media industry, the deal with Saban Films is a first for Roku. But it's part of its ongoing push into original and exclusive content.

A person points a remote control at a TV in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

The Roku Channel had an estimated 70 million viewers as of the first quarter of 2021. For Saban Films, its content library will begin enjoying distribution for this vast audience on June 15. The first film set for streaming is 2020 release Echo Boomers. This film wasn't exactly a smash hit -- according to movie and TV review site Rotten Tomatoes, only 38% of critics liked it. But Saban Films also has more well-received films like Percy vs. Goliath starring Christopher Walken. 

Earlier this year, Roku acquired all video content from failed start-up Quibi. And earlier in May, these debuted under the name Roku Originals. Some see this as a game-changing move for the company. Its goal is to use original and exclusive content to attract more viewers to The Roku Channel, which ultimately can help drive higher ad rates long term. Today's announcement is just the latest step in this new content strategy. 

Jon Quast owns shares of Roku. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix and Roku. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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