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The Roku Channel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Roku Channel
DeveloperRoku, Inc.
Key peopleAnthony Wood, Charlie Collier
TypeOver-the-top media service
Launch date
  • September 2017; 6 years ago (2017-09)
Platform(s)Streaming devices: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Android TV, Samsung smart TVs

Web browsers: running on PCs, smartphones and tablets
StatusActive (USA, Canada, the U.K., Mexico)
MembersIncrease 120 million viewers (2023)
Pricing model Free with ad support, Paid subscriptions

The Roku Channel is an over-the-top video streaming service owned and operated by Roku, Inc. Launched in September 2017,[1][2] the service tops U.S. viewership for free ad-supported streaming TV and reports 120 million viewers as of 2023.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

The Roku Channel is available in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. It offers over 400 free live linear TV channels, more than 80,000 free movies and shows,[9] and access to premium content. The service can be streamed using streaming devices and smart TVs from Roku as well as other providers,[10][11][12] or using web browsers running on PCs, tablets or smartphones.[13]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Free Roku Channels Fall 2023
  • Best free Roku Channels of 2023



2017–2019: Launch in North America

The Roku Channel was launched in September 2017 as a free, ad-supported streaming television service ("FAST"),[1][14] available to viewers in the U.S.[15] Roku's CEO Anthony Wood stated in the same month that the channel was a "way for content owners to publish their content on Roku without writing an app".[16] By August 2018, the channel had expanded to Canada,[10] and a website version of the service was launched, allowing it to be accessed via any web browser.[13][17] In August 2018, The Roku Channel was also reported to have signed content licensing deals with Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, Disney, and Paramount Pictures. Additionally, the service offered content from existing partners including American Classics, FilmRise, Nosey, OVGuide, Popcornflix, Vidmark, and YuYu.[17]

2020–2022: Expansion into the U.K., Mexico

April 2020 saw the launch of The Roku Channel in the U.K.[18] In January 2021, Roku announced that it had acquired the original content library of the defunct mobile video service Quibi for an undisclosed amount, reported to be around $100 million, for availability on The Roku Channel.[19][20] The content was rebranded as Roku Originals.[21] In August 2021, The Roku Channel was reported to add CBC, AccuWeather Now, FilmRise True Crime, Haunt TV, and IGN for free streaming.[22]

By March 2022, The Roku Channel included news services such as ABC News, Bloomberg, Cheddar, NBC News, Newsy, People TV, Reuters, USA Today, WeatherNation, and Yahoo Finance, all available for free streaming.[23][24][25] In October 2022, the channel was launched in Mexico.[26] According to Deadline Hollywood, October 2022 also saw Charlie Collier, previously the CEO of Fox Entertainment, join Roku as the President of Roku Media to manage ad platform business and content for The Roku Channel and more.[27] Later, in December 2022, Roku announced that it would sign a agreement with the Miss Universe Organization to broadcast the 70th (2022) and 71st (2023) editions of the Miss Universe beauty pageant in the United States, making the first time the pageant would broadcast on streaming television, after several years on linear television.[28]

By the end of 2022, The Roku Channel was offering premium subscriptions for over 50 services including Discovery+, Paramount+,[29] MGM+, Showtime, Starz,[30] HBO,[31] AMC+, Shudder and Acorn TV.[32] Moreover, The Roku Channel was reaching U.S. households with a total population of 100 million, in Roku's estimates.[33][11] The Roku Channel was also reportedly the most popular FAST service in the U.S. in 2021 and 2022.[3][4][5]

2023–present: Viewership growth

In February 2023, BGR reported that Roku announced the addition of nearly 2000 hours of on-demand content to The Roku Channel. This content included offerings from HBO, HBO Max, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Warner Bros. Television. Moreover, this content would be available to stream for free.[34]

In August 2023, it was reported that The Roku Channel was adding several NBCUniversal services as free, ad-supported options. These included NBC News Now, Dateline, Today All Day, NBC local stations, regional Telemundo news channels, Universal Action, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Sky News International, The Rotten Tomatoes Channel, and a Universal Crime channel.[11][35][36] Further, The Roku Channel became available on Google TV and other Android TV OS devices, in addition to Roku-branded streaming devices and smart TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Apple TV, and Samsung smart TVs.[10][12][37] Moreover, a report by Variety in September 2023 stated that The Roku Channel offered more than 80,000 TV shows and movies and access to premium content.[38] The Roku Channel reported 120 million viewers by the end of 2023.[6][7]

In January 2024, Roku announced an agreement with Formula E to air all but 5 races per year. Roku was slated to also air Recharge, a studio program aired 24 hours after every race.[39] According to The Wrap in February 2024, The Roku Channel offered over 400 free live linear TV channels and distributed content from over 250 partners.[9] In April 2024, National Basketball Association (NBA) announced a partnership with Roku to launch "NBA Fast", the first FAST channel from NBA, on The Roku Channel.[40] Roku also announced an agreement with NBA to air more than 40 NBA G League games during the 2024–25 season.[41] In May 2024, The Roku Channel secured a multiyear rights agreement with Major League Baseball to stream live the league's Sunday Leadoff games for free.[42]

In June 2024, measurement firm Comscore found The Roku Channel to be the most popular among all free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) streaming services in the U.S.[8][43] In the same month, U.S. TV viewership data from measurement firm Nielsen showed that The Roku Channel gathered 1.5% of all U.S. TV use and ranked among the top seven streaming services, trailing YouTube (9.7%) and Netflix (7.6%).[44][45]


Free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST)

Below is a partial list of live TV channels included in The Roku Channel for free streaming:

Advertising video on demand (AVOD)

The Roku Channel offers viewers to watch a selection of advertising video on demand content for free, requiring no subscription fee.[61] This content includes movies from Hollywood studios such as Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers, and videos from publishers such as American Classics, Fandor, FilmRise, Nosey, OVGuide, Popcornflix, Vidmark, and YuYu.[1] The channel also delivers about 2000 hours of content from Warner Bros. Discovery’s TV series and movies, including content from HBO, HBO Max, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television and more.[62] Moreover, it offers for free a part of the "premium content" from Showtime, MGM+, Cinedigm and Acorn TV, with no subscription or trial required. The offering includes On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Showtime), Godfather of Harlem (Epix), America The Story of Us (HISTORY Vault), Heartland (Dove Channel), and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (Acorn TV).[63]

The Spanish AVOD titles free to watch on The Roku Channel include Hernan (A+E Networks), Hunting Ava Bravo (Wild Sheep Content, Top Dead Center Films, Chollawood Productions), A la Mala (Lionsgate), Enamorada (Cisneros), Amor Comprado (Cisneros), Seasons 1-3 of El Señor de los Cielos (NBCUniversal Telemundo), El Chema: Edición Especial (NBCUniversal Telemundo), Seasons 1-2 of Señora Acero (NBCUniversal Telemundo).[60]

The Roku Channel also includes original content, including that in Spanish, in form of Roku Originals.[64][65] Content creation partners for the Roku Originals include Cisley Saldaña, Liz Jenkins, Mariel Saldaña, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Rich Eisen, and “Weird Al” Yankovic.[66] Spanish-language content creation partners include Jennifer Lopez, Juanpa Zurita and Jaime Camil.[65]

Premium subscriptions

The Roku Channel offers premium subscriptions for various services including Discovery+, Paramount+,[29] HBO,[31] MGM+, Showtime, Starz,[30] Cinemax,[67] AMC+, Shudder, Acorn TV,[32] Fuse Plus,[68] and Vix Premium.[69]


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  2. ^ Lacoma, Tyler (November 3, 2022). "What is The Roku Channel? Content, cost, and how to use it". Digital Trends. Archived from the original on February 10, 2023. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
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External links

This page was last edited on 3 July 2024, at 23:57
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