I remember finally cutting the cord and getting rid of cable TV. Part of the reason I switched to streaming was that it was more cost-effective, and I didn't have to put up with those annoying disputes between networks and providers. I didn't have to worry about losing a channel or network. Or so I thought. The streaming services we got to replace cable are becoming the very thing they took the place of. Prices are going up and now contract disputes are threatening the way we watch TV.

The latest dispute is between Google and Roku. We have Roku streaming sticks in our bedroom and in the girl's bedroom. We also have a 4K Roku TV in our living room. Roku features all the apps that we use to watch TV, from Netflix, Prime, and Hulu, to HBO and YouTube TV. Google and Roku have been battling over a new deal for the main YouTube app. After months of talks, still no deal. So to put pressure on Roku, Google recently removed the YouTube TV app from the Roku channel store. Existing customers, like myself, are still able to use the app. But if you're a new user, and buy a Roku stick or TV, well, you're flat out of luck!

The deal for the YouTube app expires on December 9th, and if no new deal is hammered out, that app will also disappear from the Roku channel store. Why the disagreement? According to sources, it's not about money. It's about the fact that Google wants Roku to prioritize YouTube over other providers when it comes to search results. Roku is refusing to give in.

And like always, it's us, the consumers, who are the ones who lose.


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