Roku, Inc. confirmed its acquisition of some 75 Quibi shows and documentaries today (Jan. 8), days after reports first surfaced that the company was in talks to host the shuttered short-form streamer’s catalog on its Roku Channel.
The manufacturer of the Roku digital media player acquired the exclusive global distribution rights to the shows, and will make the content available for free on an ad-supported basis in 2021.
In addition to the titles that had previously premiered on Quibi — which went dark on Dec. 1 — more than a dozen new programs will premiere exclusively on The Roku Channel, which reached an estimated 61.8 million people in the U.S. in Q4 2020.
Following an internal restructuring by Quibi, Roku acquired Quibi Holdings, LLC, the company that holds all of Quibi’s content distribution rights. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Quibi’s unscripted and documentary content includes Chrissy’s Court (pictured), Punk’d, Murder House Flip, Singled Out and The Sauce, to name a few.
“Today’s announcement marks a rare opportunity to acquire compelling new original programming that features some of the biggest names in entertainment,” Rob Holmes, vice president of Programming at Roku, said in a statement. “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.”
“The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations,” Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg added. “We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel.”
The deal marks a near end to Quibi’s tumultuous run. In October, founder Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman confirmed via an open letter that the company would be winding down after just six months in business, and its content and technology assets sold.
The decision to shut down amid underwhelming viewership and downloads came weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported the company was exploring a possible sale, as well as potentially raising money or going public.
Quibi had reportedly pitched a sale to Comcast’s NBCUniversal, but the company was wary of the fact that the platform didn’t own many of the shows on its platform, according to the WSJ. The Information reported that Quibi had also tried to sell its programming to Facebook, which also reportedly passed.