The granddaddy of house renovation series has a new home. The Roku Channel has acquired the This Old House business which includes a production studio, the ongoing This Old House and Ask This Old House TV shows, and a library of more than 1,500 episodes. The streaming service, which can be accessed via Roku devices (that plug into televisions and stream content from networks and other channels) and the Roku app, reached households with 63 million people in 2020, doubling its scope from 2019.
Current seasons of This Old House (season 42) and Ask This Old House (season 19) are available for free on the Roku Channel as on-demand episodes after they air on local PBS stations. Past seasons are already available for free. It’s unclear how this acquisition will affect the shows’ future on PBS beyond the current seasons.
Roku Acquires “This Old House,” America’s No. 1 TV Home Improvement Program
Acquisition of Business Includes 1,500+ Episode Library, Production Studio, Two Ongoing Series of Top-Rated Original Programming, and Related Digital Assets to Support The Roku Channel’s Growing AVOD Service
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) announced today that it has acquired the “This Old House” business, inclusive of its global distribution rights and all of its subsidiary brands, including the “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House” TV programs, the show libraries, all digital assets, and the television production studio. “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House” were the two top-rated home improvement programs in the U.S. in 2020, according to Nielsen data, and have earned a total of 19 Emmy Awards and 102 nominations. Past seasons of “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House” are already available for free on The Roku Channel through both linear and on demand programming. Current seasons (“This Old House”: Season 42 and “Ask This Old House”: Season 19) are available for free on The Roku Channel as on demand episodes after they air on local PBS stations.
“As the top-rated home improvement programs in America, ‘This Old House’ has the broad appeal that is perfectly suited to support The Roku Channel’s ad-supported growth strategy,” said Rob Holmes, VP of Programming, Roku. “‘This Old House created the television home improvement genre and is beloved by millions of fans. We are thrilled to welcome this incredible team, and we could not be more excited to help grow the brand for an entire new generation of home improvement enthusiasts.”
“The passion of the craftspeople on ‘This Old House’ is matched only by its viewers, and we take great pride that over the past four decades we have helped them improve their most valuable asset – their home,” said Dan Suratt, CEO, This Old House Ventures. “Roku is not only the No. 1 TV streaming platform in America, it also represents the future of TV, and we could not think of a better home for This Old House to grow and to continue its leadership position in the home improvement genre.”
“This Old House” marked its 40th Anniversary in 2019 and has continued to experience strong growth as it has diversified its distribution and digital properties. Early movers on free, ad-supported platforms, “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House” connect with audiences across broadcast, cable and multiple streaming services, as well as digital and social channels like YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, indicating the ongoing and diverse affinity for this storied brand. This broad distribution enables fans to find the authoritative voice in home improvement on their platform of choice, and makes the shows an ideal partner for leading national brands seeking to reach the attractive home improvement consumer segment. Roku plans to continue to provide audiences with access to this great content in a variety of ways, and will build on the legacy of the “This Old House” brand by expanding both the production and distribution of these trusted shows.
This announcement follows a year of robust growth for The Roku Channel, which more than doubled streaming hours and audience, reaching homes with an estimated 63 million people in the fourth quarter of 2020. This continued growing scale has enabled more creative and expansive sourcing strategies for cost-effective content that is well-suited to an AVOD (advertising-supported video on demand) business model. The acquisition of “This Old House” complements The Roku Channel’s primary content strategy of more than 175 licensing and distribution agreements.
Roku’s Rob Holmes concluded, “We believe that the types of incremental content investments we have been making are commensurate with the scale and growth trajectory of The Roku Channel. While TV subscription services require exclusive content on an ongoing basis, we believe that ad-supported models like The Roku Channel thrive with content that is broadly distributed across multiple platforms and services. Furthermore, the more relevant the content becomes for a larger audience, the more appealing it is to advertising partners.”
Roku acquired TOH Intermediate Holdings, LLC, which owns the “This Old House” business, from TZP Group. The executive team of “This Old House” will join Roku, including CEO Dan Suratt, and the team behind the shows will continue creating the content that fans love. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
About Roku, Inc.
Roku pioneered streaming to the TV. We connect users to the streaming content they love, enable content publishers to build and monetize large audiences, and provide advertisers with unique capabilities to engage consumers. Roku streaming players and TV-related audio devices are available in the U.S. and in select countries through direct retail sales and licensing arrangements with service operators. Roku TV(TM) models are available in the U.S. and in select countries through licensing arrangements with TV brands. Roku is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. U.S.A.
This press release contains “forward-looking” statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include but are not limited to the benefits of Roku’s acquisition of the This Old House business, including the fit of the business within The Roku Channel’s ad-supported growth strategy; the content, benefits, features, timing, availability, and manner of distribution of the This Old House and Ask This Old House programs and related content library on The Roku Channel and other platforms; the growth and production of such programs; the growth of the This Old House brand and its appeal to advertisers; the ability of ad-supported content to succeed with broad distribution; the future of TV consumption; and the features, benefits and reach of The Roku Channel and the Roku platform. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially are detailed from time to time in the reports Roku, Inc. files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on Roku’s website and are available from Roku without charge.
“America’s No. 1 TV streaming platform” is based on hours streamed according to Kantar, November 2020.
“This Old House” Nielsen data based on P2+ average total audience for L+7 for All Telecasts in the Home Improvement Genre that had 10 or more telecasts during the 2020 calendar year.
Roku is a registered trademark of Roku, Inc. in the U.S. and in other countries. Trade names, trademarks and service marks of other companies appearing in this press release are the property of their respective holders.
What do you think? Do you enjoy the This Old House or Ask This Old House TV series on PBS? Do you plan to stream the episodes via a Roku device or app?