Also joining in the payment to the streaming media player maker are Menlo Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners — and an “unnamed strategic investor” that the Wall Street Journal identified as Dish Network. Roku says it will use the cash for advertising, to expand overseas, and to develop more sophisticated offerings. It hopes to build on its early start in sales of devices that bring streamed video and audio services including Netflix and Pandora to the living room. This fall it will introduce the Roku Streaming Stick, which it describes as “a wireless, dongle-sized streaming device that seamlessly integrates with newer TVs and consumer electronics devices.” With the investment, News Corp Chief Digital Officer Jon Miller will join the Roku board. “Roku’s significant technology advantage, coupled with a strong market position, places them in a unique position to be an integral part of the television landscape for years to come,” he says. Rupert Murdoch’s company owns about 39% of BSkyB. Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood says that with the new relationships with News Corp and BSkyB “we are poised to further grow our leadership position and to become the TV distribution platform of the future.” Not for nothing: Dish and Fox are battling each other in court over whether the satellite company’s Hopper DVR — which can automatically skip over recorded broadcast TV ads — infringes on Fox’s copyrights.
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