Roku Channel pulls more than 30 shows including Quibi content as part of cost-cutting strategy


A day after Roku said it would be reviewing its content strategy, more than 30 shows have been pulled from The Roku Channel.

A raft of shows that had originally been picked up from short-lived streamer Quibi in 2021 are among those taken down, ranging from Anna Kendrick-starring Dummy to Joe Jonas’s travelogue Cup Of Joe.

Reno 911!, Most Dangerous Game, Kiefer Sutherland’s remake of The Fugitive and unscripted show Elba vs Block are among a swathe of others to have been removed.

The move comes as the streamer and smart TV manufacturer looks to trim costs, revealing earlier this week that it would be laying off around 10% of its workforce and pulling content.

Match Me In Miami

In an SEC filing, Roku said that around 300 members of staff would be let go and that it is looking to consolidate its office space, while it launches a “strategic review of its content portfolio” and reduces “outside service expenses” in the face of the challenging economic climate and downturn in the advertising market.

This is the third round of layoffs at Roku, which is a major player in FAST, in the past year, following 200 job cuts earlier this year and a further 200 in November 2022.

The removal of “select existing licensed and produced content from company-operated services on its TV streaming platform” will lead to a further impairment charge of $55m to $65m. Another charge of $160m to $200m will be incurred as a result of the office consolidation.

Roku had enjoyed rapid growth over recent years – adding 10 million users in 2022 – and expanding its FAST channel operation, while its share price has risen more than 30% over the past 12 months to almost $80, although a far cry from a high of $335 per share in September 2021.

The company has also moved into original programming for its dedicated Roku Channel, with series including social experiment series The Marriage Pact and eight-part matchmaking series Match Me In Miami, as well as unscripted feature, To Paris For Love: A Reality ‘Rom Com’, from Reece Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Zoe Saldaña’s Cinestar Pictures.

Last year, Roku signed a major content deal with Lionsgate to fuel The Roku Channel. The multi-year theatrical output deal sees Lionsgate films make their way to The Roku Channel following their first window on Starz. The agreement includes titles such as John Wick 4, Borderlands, Expendables 4 and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

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