Roku scores first-ever pay-one movie deal with Saban Films

Roku is continuing to bulk up on content for its ad-supported streaming service as it fights against Tubi, Pluto TV, Peacock and others for ad revenue share and audience engagement.

The company just announced its first-ever pay-one streaming rights deal with Saban Films. The agreement means that certain Saban 2021 films—including “Echo Boomers,” “Happily” and “Under the Stadium Lights”—will stream exclusively on the Roku Channel in the U.S. and Canada after their theatrical and home entertainment releases.

The Saban deal follows other recent moves by Roku to expand on exclusive and original content available within the Roku Channel, which the company said now reaches U.S. households with an estimated 70 million people.

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Roku recently debuted its initial slate of Roku Originals, a rebranded collection of 75 series and documentaries acquired from Quibi after it shut down. The content features a lineup of major Hollywood names including Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Waithe, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, and Liam Hemsworth.

Roku said it will continue using the Roku Originals name for any future original content on the Roku Channel. The company also specified that Roku Originals will be available not just on Roku devices, but on any platforms (including Amazon Fire TV) that feature the Roku Channel.

At the same time, Redbox is also making deals to expand its free, ad-supported streaming service. The company just announced an agreement with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment to add Crackle to Redbox Free Live TV.

“The Crackle team is enthusiastic about partnering with Redbox, a brand that is so well known for convenient entertainment delivery,” said Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, in a statement. “We are proud to bring Crackle’s premium offering of originals, exclusives, Hollywood blockbusters and classic TV series to the Redbox Free Live TV audience. This agreement adds an important new consumer touchpoint for Crackle Plus on a very important FAST platform.”