Roku Signs First Cable Channel

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Introducing the unexpected major new player in the ongoing television/VoD struggle: WealthTV. Why is this minor cable channel suddenly so important? Because WealthTV has become the first cable channel to become available through Roku, for just $2.99 per month.

This won’t be the first bold move from the channel; Wealth – which will also become the first Roku feed to contain commercials as part of the programming itself – last year became one of the first TV brands to distribute 3D content, and has shot all of its content in HD for some years, before such practices became common. Co-founder Robert Herring is eager to play up this latest move, saying that “We’re probably the only one in the industry who can do what we’re doing right now. It’s going to be a chance to lead.”

What makes WealthTV able to make this move is that the channel doesn’t have affiliate deals with either Comcast or Time Warner Cable, both of which tend to insist on clauses that would make deals like the one with Roku impossible (WealthTV’s existing contracts with companies like Charter Communications and Verizon have no such clauses).

WealthTV is available on Roku as of today.

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