Roku Scores Angry Birds

-- Rovio Strikes First Licensing Deal to Deliver Casual Game to TV

Roku struck a deal that will make the over-the-top video provider the first company to deliver Rovio's popular Angry Birds game to the TV. 

Landing Angry Birds could help Roku market its Internet video set-tops, and the agreement opens a new distribution outlet for Rovio, which already has one of the hottest casual games on Apple's iPhone, Google Android phones and other mobile devices.  

But Rovio hasn't yet reached deals to distribute Angry Birds or other casual games to pay TV providers with interactive TV platforms such as Comcast or DirecTV, which could put its games in tens of millions of homes. 

Roku, which projects that it will count 3 million customers by the end of 2011, said it is in talks with other casual game providers and aggregators. In addition to offering Angry Birds, Roku said it will offer users two other version of the game – Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio.

While Roku owners will be able to download Angry Birds to their set-tops for free, Roku and Roxio plan to hawk Angry Birds merchandise through the Roku Channel Store. Roku said it will also launch an Angry Birds video channel that will feature short videos based on the game. More 

North America