Is This Move by Roku a Home Run?

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Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) shares made a solid gain on Tuesday after it was announced that the company would be taking on another partner. Specifically, Roku announced the availability of ESPN+ through the new ESPN channel on the Roku platform.

The ESPN+ channel will allow Roku player and Roku TV users to access thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks.

Also, ESPN+ is the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer premium subscription streaming service from Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International group, in partnership with ESPN.

Basically, you name it, this channel has got it for sports. Available within the newly updated ESPN channel, ESPN+ brings hundreds of Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer games, Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, PGA Tour golf, college sports, international rugby, cricket, the full library of ESPN Films (including 30 for 30) and more to Roku devices in the United States.

It is available for a seven-day free trial, followed by a subscription fee of $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year.

Scott Rosenberg, general manager of the Platform Business at Roku, commented:

Roku customers have enjoyed the ESPN channel for years. The launch of ESPN+ marks an exciting moment for the OTT sports experience, giving consumers more sports content from their favorite pastimes than ever. Roku customers that subscribe to ESPN+ will enjoy access to more live sports events, original shows and films, exclusive studio programs and ESPN’s unmatched on-demand library.

Excluding Tuesday’s move, Roku had underperformed the broad markets in 2018, with its stock down 36%. Over the past six months, the stock is actually up about 40%.

Shares of Roku were last seen up about 12% at $36.87 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $39.20 and a 52-week range of $15.75 to $58.80.

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