Spectrum cable customers who use a streaming device to access their cable channels on extra TVs have one fewer option — at least for now.
The Charter-owned cable company’s agreement with Roku, one of the more popular streaming devices on the market, expired on Dec. 11, 2020, so the free Spectrum TV app is no longer available in the Roku store.
Hopefully, this is a temporary glitch, akin to the fairly routine outages caused by carrier disputes between cable providers and TV stations and networks.
A Spectrum spokesperson told us, regarding the contract expiration: “Roku is an important partner and we are hopeful we will reach an agreement soon.”
In the meantime, what does that mean for Spectrum customers who use the app on Roku? Here’s what we know:
▪ New users — anyone who had not already downloaded or installed the Spectrum app to their Roku device prior to Dec. 12 — cannot get the app.
▪ If you were using the app before Dec. 12 and you still have it on your Roku, you should be OK, as long as you don’t delete it.
But, if you do accidentally delete it, there’s still hope.
▪ Spectrum tells us that if you had already “downloaded, installed and streamed” the app prior to Jan. 15, 2021, you can restore the app by contacting a Charter representative (Spectrum customer service is at 833-267-6094).
▪ Similarly, if you had downloaded the app prior to that date, but never used it to stream content, the app will not work.
Many app customers were alerted to the issue when they saw a warning about deleting the app while using Roku to watch Spectrum:
“Do Not Remove Spectrum TV from Roku: We hope you’re enjoying Spectrum TV. Please note that if you delete this app, you won’t be able to reinstall it from the Roku Channel Store. For more information, please visit spectrum.net/roku.”
The Spectrum app is still available for those streaming via Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV or Xbox, or those using a smartphone or tablet.
The app has been popular with Spectrum customers because it lets them view the channels they are paying for in their existing cable plan, but on TVs not directly connected to a cable box.
The app is free to use for paying Spectrum cable customers.