Telstra Taps Roku for New Streaming TV Service

Australian Provider Joins ‘Roku Powered’ Program (Updated)
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Over-the-top is increasingly going Down Under.

Roku has notched another service provider deal, announcing Tuesday that it will power a new TV streaming service from Australia’s Telstra.

The new service, slated for a fall launch, will bundle Telstra’s own BigPond movie service with third-party over-the-top streaming services such as Presto, Stan, Netflix and “various catch up TV channels.”

Update: Telstra said the Roku Powered option will launch in September, and will reveal pricing and more specifics around content closer to the launch. 

Telstra is the latest provider to join Roku Powered, a licensing program announced last fall in which pay TV operators tap Roku hardware and customized interfaces to deliver apps and services to the TV.  Sky UK, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia are the other announced Roku Powered partners. Roku is using the program to enter the pay TV arena and to expand beyond its bread-and-butter retail business that counts competitors such as Apple, Google and Amazon.

“Strong interest among consumers for on-demand entertainment and increasing availability of OTT content is driving operators to launch Internet-delivered television services,” said Andrew Ferrone, vice president of Pay TV at Roku, in a statement. 

Licensing the Roku streaming platform enables us to launch a streaming service and player without the magnitude of cloud services, software and tools otherwise needed to become an OTT operator,” added Joe Pollard, group managing director Media and Marketing at Telstra.

Telstra, which acquired streaming and analytics company Ooyala last year, has also been touting the T-Box, a broadband-connected DVR that features dozens of Foxtel channels.

They didn’t announce the financial terms of the deal. Roku, which has shipped more than 10 million devices in the U.S., generated $250 million in revenue last year.