Big media is making a big bet on video streaming company Roku.
The set-top box maker says that Rupert Murdoch'sNews Corp., along with its BSkyB satellite company, and other investors, are injecting $45 million into the company.
One of News Corp.'s senior executives, Jon Miller, will join Roku’s board as part of the deal. The media giant--which has already developed Roku channels for such properties as Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and The X Factor--says it plans to "deepen" its relationship with the video platform maker.
“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,” Miller said in the announcement.
The move takes the company's funding to a total of $77 million since its 2002 inception. Roku says it plans to use the money to develop new markets internationally, improve engineering and production, build brand awareness and launch a new product, the Roku Streaming Stick, this fall.
Roku has brought in $100 million in revenue for 2011 and has sold more than 3 million devices already this year, the Associated Press reports. Roku and Apple’s Apple TV together control about 95% of the market for Internet TV streaming devices, the AP says.
Roku founder CEO Anthony Wood told the AP the new investment will allow Roku to continue as a privately held venture.
"For us this is a lot of money," Wood said. "There would be no financial reason for us to go public any time soon."