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Spectrum shuts off Roku access for some Buffalo TV customers

Photo: Chris Murphy / Flickr Creative Commons
Photo: Chris Murphy / Flickr Creative Commons

Spectrum customers in Buffalo, New York are upset with their local cable franchise after a recently-completed phase of the company’s digital transition left many of them without programming on their smart TVs.

Customers began waking up this week to find a message from Spectrum saying they needed to have cable television and Internet service through the company if they wanted to continue watching live video streams through devices like gaming consoles and Roku boxes.

Some customers had been using Spectrum’s TV apps despite paying for Internet through a competitor like Verizon Fios. Spectrum confirmed to a local media outlet on Wednesday those customers would now need to purchase both cable TV and Internet service through Spectrum to continue using TV apps.

Despite complaints from some customers, Spectrum says it isn’t too worried about the change in service because many households already have at least one receiver. Those that are complaining about the service change are primarily using smart TV apps on secondary sets like bedroom TVs.

“Most customers already have at least one piece of digital equipment in their homes,” Spectrum said in a statement to ABC affiliate WKBW (Channel 7). “For most this is about connecting a secondary TV…Spectrum Internet service is required to use the app on those devices, on a TV.”

The service change did not appear to impact customers who use Spectrum apps on mobile devices like phones and tablets.

WKBW: Spectrum disables Roku access for some Buffalo TV customers


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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).