Roku buys Quibi’s short-form content in deal valued at ‘less than US$100 million’

AVOD streamer Roku has confirmed a deal valued at around $100m to acquire more than 75 shows from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s defunct short-form streamer Quibi.

The full range of titles that had previously premiered on Quibi will now be available exclusively around the world via the device manufacturer’s fast-growing AVOD service The Roku Channel, while more than a dozen new shows will make their exclusive debut through the online service.

The deal – which first emerged last week – includes scripted series, reality programming and documentaries, featuring talent such as Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen and Lena Waithe.

Hemsworth’s series Most Dangerous Game, Peter Farrelly’s suicide comedy The Now, drama Survive and docuseries Slugfest are among the raft of shows included.


‘Distinctive array of content’

Financial details have not been revealed but the cost is estimated to be around $100m. As part of the arrangement, Roku acquired Quibi Holdings, the company that holds all of the defunct streamer’s content distribution rights.

Quibi did not own much of its IP but instead struck multi-year licences that returned rights to their owners after seven years.

Roku said the deal would “deliver a distinctive array of premium content geared towards the highly coveted 18-35 age demographic, further building out The Roku Channel’s diverse lineup of more than 40,000 free movies and programs and 150 free live linear television channels.”

Rob Holmes, VP of programming at Roku, described the acquisition as “a rare opportunity to acquire compelling new original programming that features some of the biggest names in entertainment.”

He added: “We’re excited to make this content available for free to our users in The Roku Channel through an ad-supported model. We are also thrilled to welcome the incredible studios and talented individuals who brought these stories to life and showcase them to our tens of millions of viewers.”

Katzenberg added: “The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations. We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel.”

Jeffrey Katzenberg

Quibi’s loose ends

The process of selling off Quibi’s content licences has been underway for several months and the completion of the Roku deal marks the end of the streamer’s brief foray into costly shortform content.

Its tech assets are also being sold as the company attempts to make back some of the $1.75bn it had raised ahead of launch from companies including BBC Studios, ITV Studios, Disney, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia and Lionsgate.

The streamer officially ceased operations in December just seven months after launching, following an admission in October that it had failed to secure subscriber interest and would be closing down.

Like many AVOD streamers in 2020, Roku expanded rapidly. It struck a deal with Fox Entertainment in December that will see its streamerr Tubi rolled out on the platform in Mexico, having partnered with companies including Endemol Shine Group (now Banijay) and Starzplay earlier in the year.

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