Roku Inc. today announced it has received $45 million in strategic investment that gives the streaming media company direct relationships with major media companies. News Corporation, British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) and an additional unnamed strategic investor participated, as did returning venture investors Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners.

The $45 million is an undetailed combination of business agreements and financial backing, both of which are important to Roku’s continued growth. Also, News Corp. chief digital officer Jon Miller will join the Roku board of directors. Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood will remain chairman of the board.

These relationships with major media companies come with built-in clout when it comes to things like marketing, reaching mainstream viewers and content licensing. In addition, Roku said it will use the new capital for advertising, international expansion, and to ramp up its operations across the board.

The next significant physical product release for Roku will be the Roku Streaming Stick (pictured), the wireless dongle for that the company unveiled in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. It will provide Roku services to any TV or other device with a USB port and Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) technology.

News Corp. chief digital officer Jon Miller said the two companies have been working together in various ways for several years. “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 added.

“We’re delighted to have entered into this strategic relationship with Roku. As an innovative content company we’re committed to embracing a wide range of complementary platforms to create more choice and flexibility for customers,” said BSkyB chief financial officer Andrew Griffith. “Coupled with the on-going strength of satellite distribution, online and mobile help us unlock even more value for customers. Working with Roku we look forward to extending our multi-platform leadership.”

Related links:

Roku –

Roku – press release

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