Following reports earlier this week that “advanced talks” were taking place, Roku announced that he acquired the Quibi short program library only three months after the mobile broadcast service was first forced to close.
The agreement sees Roku securing the rights to more than 75 of Quibi’s programs and, according to Roku, they will be available for broadcast on the free Roku channel with advertising later this year in the US, Canada and the UK.
In addition to the programs that had already been launched by Quibi, there will also be about a dozen that were not shown before the service closed making its debut with Roku. According to Variety, these new programs will include Stephen Spielberg’s horror series, Spielberg After Dark.
Roku will assume Quibi’s existing seven-year license rights for the programs, which include exclusive access to the content for two years.
Established as a mobile broadcast service first by Jeffrey Katzenberg in April 2020, Quibi’s focus was to offer short format content targeted to mobile viewers with limited time. In its short life, the service attracted big names like Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick and Idris Elba and even earned some Emmy nominations. However, it failed to bring in the numbers it needed and its closure was announced in October 2020 before the application was completely shut down in December.
More than mobile
Quibi’s content may have been created with mobile devices in mind, but Roku’s Rob Holmes has indicated that it will soon be available “wherever you can see the Roku channel,” which can be accessed on Roku devices, the Roku mobile application and on the web.
In a statement (via Variety), Jeffrey Katzenberg said of the deal: “Hollywood’s most creative and imaginative minds created innovative 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.
Roku has not given an exact date for bringing this new content to The Roku Channel, but has recommended “staying tuned” to Roku’s blog for more details in the future.