Google rolls out a workaround for YouTube TV on Roku, probably pokes bear

YouTube TV in the YouTube app on Roku
(Image credit: Google)

Google today has sent an email to YouTube TV subscribers on Roku, detailing a plan that will allow them to watch YouTube TV via the YouTube channel on Roku. The workaround come days after Roku dropped the official YouTube TV app due to deteriorating negotiations with Google.

If that sounds like Google poking a much smaller bear and daring Roku to ban the YouTube app, well, you're right.

"An update for our Roku users," the email begins. "Today we’re introducing a feature that gives you a new way to access YouTube TV from within the YouTube app. This update will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku over the next few days, and we will expand to as many devices as we can over time."

It looks as if the scheme simply adds YouTube TV functionality into the YouTube app itself. It'll require an app update — which is maybe less of a hurdle than you think because this really is geared toward new subscribers, as current subs weren't affected by the conflagration. But after that you'll just need to select the "Go to YouTube TV" section in the menu on the left.

MORE: YouTube TV vs. Hulu

For its part, Google still says that it's "still working to come to an agreement with Roku to ensure continued access to the YouTube TV app for our mutual customers. As of right now, existing YouTube TV members still have access to the YouTube TV app on Roku devices."

How long that will continue after this latest escalation remains to be seen.

None of this also changes the fact that it's pretty simple (and affordable) to find alternatives to both Roku and YouTube TV.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.