It is the first time local stations will be on the Roku Channel, which the company says has reach to households with 80 million people.
The local channels from New York, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Washington DC, Hartford, CT and South Florida will be available through the Roku Channel’s on-screen guide.
“Audiences are increasingly opting to consume news through streaming, and local news has consistently been one of the top requested categories by our users,” Ashley Hovey, head of The Roku Channel, AVOD, said in a press release. “We’re excited to work with NBCUniversal Local and the NBC Stations to expand our relevant live TV offering for streamers and to bring news from multiple major cities to millions of viewers across the country to easily access and enjoy.”
The local TV sector has found its way to streaming after a series of fits and starts, some having to do with technology, some with industry models and delicate questions about affiliates and advertising. Free, ad-supported streaming outlets like Tubi and Amazon Fire TV have featured local stations, and streaming startup HaystackTV, has put local news at the center of its service.
“Local news has never been more vital to helping our audiences stay informed about what’s happening in their communities,” said Meredith McGinn, EVP of diginets and original production, NBCUniversal Local. “We look forward to bringing our NBC local news channels and our stations’ best-in-class journalism to the millions of people the Roku Channel reaches and to launching more of our NBC local news channels to expand streamers’ access to our local news content.”
The Roku Channel is a leader in free, ad-supported linear TV, or FAST. The Roku Channel was the No. 1 FAST service by active account reach on the Roku platform in the U.S. in the first quarter. The Roku Channel has more than 300 linear channels as well as 80,000 movie and TV titles.