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- Getting Local Channels on Roku
- Local TV Apps for Roku
- Other Live TV Apps
- Alternative Methods
- Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for something more than the on-demand content usually provided by streaming services and apps on Roku, you might be wondering how to get local channels on Roku. There are a few ways you can do this, both free and paid.
By Sandra Pattison (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2022-04-20T14:05:46+00:00
With a Roku streaming device, you can combine all of your favorite streaming service apps in one place. Most services provide on-demand content, but what if you want to watch local TV channels? Well, you can, and this guide will show you how to get local channels on Roku.
- There are lots of free local TV Roku channels available from the Roku Channel Store.
- Many free third-party Roku channels allow you to watch local news stations and weather forecasts by inputting a zip code.
- You can also watch live and local TV channels on Roku via paid streaming platforms, such as Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and Paramount+.
- If you’re a Roku TV user, you can connect an HDTV antenna and scan for free local channels straight from your TV.
Having local and national TV channels on your Roku makes total sense, especially if you’re a cord-cutter. You can be watching your favorite show on Netflix one minute and a local news channel the next — without having to switch to another device.
In this article, we’ll go over the different apps you can install to watch local TV, as well as some other ways you can get local channels on Roku.
Major network apps on Roku include ABC, NBC and CBS. These let you watch some content for free, but for the latest episodes of your favorite shows, you’ll need to sign in with a valid paid TV subscription like a cable TV login. If you have a Roku TV, you can connect an HDTV antenna and access the channels from there.
To watch local channels on Roku, you can install a dedicated local TV Roku channel or opt for a paid streaming service that includes local channels. If you have a Roku TV, you can connect an HDTV antenna and scan for local channels.
Many local channels are available for free on Roku. Some have a dedicated Roku channel, whereas others are available via third-party Roku channels. However, not all channels are available via such apps. For those, you might need to invest in a streaming service like Hulu + Live TV or Paramount Plus.
Many local channels have a dedicated free Roku channel. Others are available for free via third-party Roku channels. Roku TV users also have the option of connecting an HDTV antenna to scan for local channels.
How to Get Local Channels on Roku
Some local channels have an official Roku app that you can install directly from the Roku Channel Store. Some are free, while others are subscription-based. Keep in mind that some channels’ dedicated Roku apps won’t be exactly the same as the over-the-air channel due to licensing contracts.
You can use the search tool in the Roku Channel Store to find the channel you want and then add it to your Roku (we have a detailed guide on how to add channels to Roku). Alternatively, you can browse Roku’s categories to find a local channel.
You can also take a peek at the Roku Live TV Zone, which provides instant access to a ton of free channels from The Roku Channel and other apps you have installed.
Local TV Apps for Roku
There are plenty of apps for local TV stations available on Roku. In this section, we’ll talk about different apps for different categories, such as news and sports.
Local News Channels on Roku
Some Roku channels provide coverage based on the zip code you input, whereas others are local affiliate channels. There are currently more than 100 local news channels that you can install and watch for free, such as FOX13 Memphis Now, NBC Nebraska, WSB Atlanta and KGTV 10 News San Diego.
If you’re looking for something with more than just your local news, though, check out the likes of Haystack News and NewsON. Both of those allow you to watch live and local news that’s either on your doorstep or further afield.
NewsON has newscasts from almost 200 local news stations across the U.S., and Haystack News gives you access to local and global news from more than 300 channels. All you need to do is provide your zip code to get relevant news and weather for your area.
Local Weather Channels on Roku
Some of the news channels cover local weather, but there are also dedicated weather channels for those who like to keep watch. Just like with the news channels, you can simply input your zip code to get tailored weather forecasts, reports and alerts for your area.
Channels like The Weather Channel and The Weather Network will get you the personalized weather reports you need, whether that be a general forecast or a weather alert. Plus, you can also watch WeatherNation’s 24/7 live feed on The Roku Channel.
Local Radio Stations and Podcasts on Roku
Roku channels aren’t only about watching content — you can also install radio station channels. If you’re looking for some entertainment from your local radio station or perhaps one from your old hometown, channels like TuneIn and iHeart have what you need. Not only can you listen to local stations, you can also tune in to podcasts, sports and more.
To see the whole selection of radio stations available on Roku, check out the Music & Podcasts section of the store.
Local Sports Channels on Roku
If you’re looking for regional sports channels on Roku, unfortunately, you won’t find any freebies. You’ll need to turn to a subscription service like fuboTV or Sling TV to watch local sports channels. Alternatively, there are some “game pass” subscriptions for specific sports, such as MLB.TV.
Keep in mind, though, that blackout rules may mean you can’t watch a game in your local area. In this case, using a VPN on Roku can help by making you appear like you’re located in another area.
There’s also a chance that you can watch local sports events by connecting Roku to an antenna, but we’ll cover that a bit later.
Other Live TV Apps
There is another way you can watch live and local TV channels on Roku: via a paid streaming service. Although some services like Netflix only offer on-demand content, streaming platforms have both on-demand and live content, such as Hulu + Live TV and Paramount Plus.
They’re not free, but by having them all in one place, you can easily browse through the many local network channels available. Plus, you could take advantage of one of the free trials available to make sure you like the service.
Local TV Channels on Roku: Alternative Methods
Now that we’ve talked about the different Roku channels and streaming platforms with live and local channels, we’ll go over a few more unusual ways you can get such channels.
Use an HDTV Antenna
If all else fails, get out your coat hanger. Seriously, though, you can connect an over-the-air (OTA) antenna and watch local channels the classic way. However, this will only work if you have a Roku TV. All the other Roku devices simply don’t have an antenna connection.
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If you have a Roku TV, all you need to do is connect an HDTV antenna to the TV and follow some on-screen steps to scan for local networks. After that, you can watch them just like you would any other channel. Such channels can include news, sports, weather and primetime TV, and the best part is that they’re free.
HDTV antennas are much better than the rabbit ears of the past too. They provide a better signal and can pick up channels from much farther away. Just remember that the channels you pick up still depend on your location — you just get a wider range.
Use Screen Mirroring
If you can’t obtain the local channels you want with any of the methods above, you could mirror another device with local channels to your Roku. Now, that might not sound like the most efficient way of watching local channels, but if you access them on an iOS, Android or Windows device, you can then mirror it to your Roku and watch the channel on the big screen.
For instance, you might want to watch a specific local channel, but find that it doesn’t have a Roku app and isn’t available on a third-party app or streaming service. If the channel is available via an online stream, you can load it up on your mobile device and then mirror your screen to Roku. It’s easy enough if you follow our dedicated guide on how to cast to Roku.
Find Local Channel Content on YouTube
Although it’s unlikely you’ll find a YouTube stream of your local channel, it’s possible that you’ll find some episodes or clips available to watch. So, while you might not be able to watch a continuous stream, you should be able to keep up with key news points, local weather and other information for your area on the Roku YouTube app.
Final Thoughts: Watch Local Channels With Roku
Now you know the different ways you can watch live and local channels on Roku. Whether you want to catch the latest news or weather forecasts, or dance to your favorite hometown radio show, there are plenty of choices to pick from.
Installing a dedicated live TV Roku channel or using a live TV streaming service are the best options, but there are alternative methods, such as using an antenna with a Roku TV or mirroring your screen to Roku.
Do you watch live TV or local channels on your Roku? Which method do you use? Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comment section and take a look at our Roku scams piece to make sure you stay safe. As always, thank you for reading.
Can I watch live local news on Roku? ›
All of the channels listed can be added directly to your Roku device from the web from the Roku Channel Store. Just click “add channel” and you're all set. Channels like NewsON and Haystack News are must-haves if you want to watch live and local news.Can I get local channels free on Roku? ›
If you have a Roku TV, all you need to do is connect an HDTV antenna to the TV and follow some on-screen steps to scan for local networks. After that, you can watch them just like you would any other channel. Such channels can include news, sports, weather and primetime TV, and the best part is that they're free.How can I watch local sports on Roku for free? ›
There is no legally free option on Roku devices and Roku TVs that matches the comprehensive coverage of cable TV channels. But you can get a free trial of a live TV streaming service to watch live sports. You can watch sports highlights for free on a number of steaming apps such as CBS Sports HQ.How can I stream local channels and sports? ›
- Hulu Live TV. Hulu's Live service currently streams live ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and The CW in several markets. ...
- FuboTV. FuboTV offers live local Fox, NBC, and CBS is select markets. ...
- Sling TV.
You can get local channels on Roku by using NewsOn, Haystack, Local Now, and the Channel Store. If you have CBS All Access or Hulu+, you'll be able to connect the app to receive local channels. You'll need a paid subscription for CBS All Access and Hulu+.What is the best local news app for Roku? ›
- Haystack Local & World News. Watch local and global news from 300+ channels. ...
- CBS News. The CBS News app brings free, live, 24/7 streaming breaking news and analysis to your Roku, no…
- Fox News Channel. ...
- Newsmax TV. ...
- NewsON. ...
- ABC News Live. ...
- Local Now. ...
For free news streams, we recommend Pluto TV, which lets you stream ABC News, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Cheddar, NBC News, Newsy, RT America, and more all in one place. FOX-owned Tubi also features some live TV news channels, like ABC News Live, NBC News Now, Fox LiveNow, Fox Weather, Cheddar News, Bloomberg, and more.What is the best app for local channels? ›
The best streaming services for local channels are Sling TV, Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, and DirecTV.Why won't my Roku TV pick up local channels? ›
Especially after trying out the above, rescanning for channels can sometimes fix channels not appearing. As a last resort, you can reset your Roku TV to factory defaults, which can solve a bunch of different problems. After doing this, you may need to update your device again as well as scan for channels again.How can I watch local football on Roku? ›
NFL+: Starting at $4.99/month, NFL+ is the NFL's official streaming services to watch game replays on your Roku device. ESPN+: For $9.99/month, you can stream select NFL games in 2022, including some MNF games, a live game from London, and a Wild Card game.
How do I get free local channels on Roku without antenna? ›
- Stream local channels on Roku for free with Hulu. Free Trial at Hulu.
- Stream local channels on Roku for free with fuboTV. ...
- Stream local channels on Roku for free with Sling TV.
- Stream local channels on Roku for free with Paramount Plus.
- Stream sports on Roku for free with Hulu + Live TV. Free Trial.
- Stream sports on Roku for free with fuboTV. Free Trial.
- Stream sports on Roku with Sling TV. Try It.
- Stream sports on Roku with ESPN Plus. Try It.
- Stream sports on Roku with Paramount Plus. Free Trial.
Major network apps on Roku include ABC, NBC and CBS.
These let you watch some content for free, but for the latest episodes of your favorite shows, you'll need to sign in with a valid paid TV subscription like a cable TV login. If you have a Roku TV, you can connect an HDTV antenna and access the channels from there.
- Connect the coaxial cable from your HDTV antenna to the “Ant/Cable In” connector on the back of your Roku TV.
- Turn on your Roku TV, go to Home and select Live TV. ...
- Follow the instructions on the TV screen to complete setup.
If you've been wondering how to get local channels on a smart TV, you'll either need to purchase a high-definition digital TV antenna or download a free app or two from your TV's app store. Using an antenna only has a one-time cost and doesn't even require an internet connection.How do I add public channels to my Roku? ›
Creating a beta channel
- Package your Roku channel.
- Create a channel (select Beta).
- Upload the package associated with this channel.
- Provide the Access Code (from the Preview and Publish window) to your beta testers.
VUit is a free, local streaming app. Their motto is “Live. Local. Free.” and it perfectly describes their viewer's experience.Does Peacock have local channels? ›
With an upgrade to Peacock Premium Plus, you can stream your 24/7 live local NBC station on any supported device in the Channels section of Peacock. The local channel available will be based on the geolocation (based on your internet provider) of your streaming device and will change if your geolocation changes.What is the cheapest streaming app with local channels? ›
The cheapest streaming service that offers local channels is Sling.How do I get free channels on Roku without cable? ›
- Press Home on your Roku remote.
- Scroll and select Streaming Channels to open the Channel Store.
- Select Top Free to view the most popular free channels.
- Choose a channel and press OK to view more options.
- To install the channel, select Add channel.
Does Roku have channel packages? ›
Did you know that straight-out-of-the-box, your Roku device gives you free access to more than 350 live television channels? That's more channels than many basic cable plans offer, which is why devices like our Roku Ultra are a favorite among cord-cutters.Is there an app for local TV channels? ›
With LocalBTV, you can watch local TV stations on your smartphone or laptop, or by streaming to your TV —simply launch and you're live! LocalBTV is available in 50 US markets with more coming soon!How do I get local CBS News on Roku? ›
- Navigate to the search option on your Roku.
- Search for the CBS News app using the search panel.
- Select "Add channel."
- Launch the CBS News app. ...
- Enjoy up-to-the-minute live news, weather, breaking news and more on your Roku device!
Watch live, local TV newscasts for FREE from 275+ trusted local news stations across the U.S with the NewsON app. No cable subscription or login required. Enjoy local news with NewsON anytime, anywhere! Live.Does Roku have free live news? ›
Free Live TV on The Roku Channel
Enjoy instant access to more than 350+ free live TV channels at any time. With live news and weather, sports, food & home, reality TV, science fiction, true crime, kids' entertainment, and Spanish language content, we have something for everyone.
Watching FOX over the air
And just like, the content that your grandparent's bunny ears picked up is all free. No matter which service you choose, you can rest assured that your Roku device is the perfect way to stream all your favorite FOX programming without cable.
The signal could be lost in the coaxial cable distribution.
If you are using a splitter, this could also weaken signal strength. Try disconnecting the splitter and running the cable directly into the TV/converter box and run a channel scan. If reception improves, a distribution amplifier is likely to be the solution.
If your internet provider assigns or changes your IP number to one attached to one of its servers located in a different area, that could change the local stations you are provided.Is Peacock TV free? ›
Peacock: Stream TV and Movies Online, Watch Live News and Sports. Plans start at $4.99/month. Cancel anytime.What is the cheapest way to watch TV without cable? ›
The cheapest live TV services for cord-cutting are the free ones: Pluto TV, Xumo, and Local Now. There are paid ones that cost very little, like Philo, Frndly TV, and Sling (especially the individual Blue or Orange plans).
How can I watch football on my Roku without a TV provider? ›
You can watch NFL Network live through Sling TV. A subscription to the Sling Blue plan costs $40 per month and includes 41 channels. Once you pick a streaming service, you can start watching NFL Network live using a Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast or even an Apple TV.Is ESPN free on Roku? ›
The ESPN app is free to download on Roku. You can view news, sports information and highlights for free, but you'll need to sign in with a TV provider to stream ESPN content. You can also sign up for a live streaming service that includes ESPN channels, such as fuboTV, and watch ESPN on Roku via its app.What sports channels can you get for free on Roku? ›
Free Sports TV contains live sports viewing options including - Golf, Football (NFL), College Football, Formula 1, Tennis, Cricket, Soccer, Basketball (NFL) and even Table Tennis!What Roku channels have live sports? ›
- fuboTV Watch Live Sports & TV. Stream 100+ live channels with the NFL, LaLiga, EPL, NBA, MLB, NCAA, NHL, TV shows, movies & news!…
- ESPN. Watch thousands of live events and shows from the ESPN networks plus get scores, highlights, and…
- FOX Sports. ...
- CBS Sports Stream & Watch Live. ...
- NBA. ...
- NFL. ...
- Bally Sports. ...
The most affordable way to get local broadcasts is with an over-the-air antenna. Combining it with your Roku device can be easy or a little more involved, depending on which device you have.How do I get CBS on my Roku? ›
Use the remote control to navigate to the Search tab on the Roku main menu, then type in “CBS All Access.” The CBS All Access app will appear, select it using the remote control's OK button, then hit the Add Channel option. CBS All Access will begin downloading automatically.How can I watch ABC CBS and NBC for free? ›
- Pluto TV—Most free live news, hundreds of free content channels.
- Tubi—50,000+ free shows and movies, free live news and sports channels.
- Sling Free—ABC News, CBS News, and Newsy plus dozens of free content channels.
- Roku Channel—Good variety of free content, free live news channels.
Watching ABC live over the air
All you need is an HD digital antenna. When you hook it up directly to your Roku TV, the channels you're receiving over the air will populate directly into your Live TV Channel Guide.
- Sling TV: NBC and FOX in select markets. ...
- Fubo TV: ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC (+ The CW, Telemundu, Univision, and UniMas in some areas) ...
- Hulu with Live TV: ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. ...
- DirecTV: NBC, PBS, ABC, FOX, Telemundo, and CBS.
Free local channels without a TV antenna
A number of local ABC, CBS, FOX, CW and NBC stations have their own apps available on Smart TVs and streaming devices. You can find these apps by doing a broad search for a station (e.g. NBC), or by searching for a station using its call sign.