How to Watch Local Channels on Roku

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Matthew M. White
@matthewmwhite
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Roku is one of the most popular options among former cable TV users who have cut the cord and switched to other TV services. Many viewers are often dismayed to have lost their local channels. Whether it's your favorite TV sitcom, crime drama, or just local news, you might be wondering; how can i watch my local channels?

If you still want to watch your favorite local channels, you're in luck because there are plenty of ways to get them on your Roku. Keep reading to learn more about the best options.



Official local channels on Roku

The first option you have is Roku's own list of official local channels. Nowadays, Roku has over 100 channels available, including News 12, Boston 25, FOX13 Memphis News, and many more.

However, the main drawback here is that the list is constantly changing. This is because channels need to sign up to become available on Roku. Local movie and news channels are Roku's Achilles' heel.

The easiest way to find available channels is to log into the Roku website from your browser. Scroll through the list of available networks and review the details. Some of these services are only available with a paid subscription, so you'll want to know that before you hit the "Install" button.

Once you find the one you like, you can install it directly from the website.

Third-party channels

If your favorite local TV channels are missing from Roku or leaving the platform, you can opt for one of the official third-party apps. You should find them easily in the Roku store. Here are the most notable apps.



Haystack TV

Haystack TV is a good option for all viewers whether they are interested in local or national TV channels. In the local segment, Haystack offers more than 150 news stations. The biggest are CBS's best-known affiliates – Chicago's WBBM, San Francisco's KPIX, Los Angeles' KCAL and Boston's WBZ, to name a few.

news about

News on is another important option in this segment. It is a free application which besides Roku is also available on several other platforms. As of this writing, their list includes over 200 local news channels from across the United States. The owners claim that NewsOn covers approximately 83% of the entire population.

However, on the downside, you can only watch news channels. For movies, sports, and other content, you'll need to find another solution.

Internet TV packages

Some ISPs offer so-called skinny packages for those who want to cut the cord and stop using traditional cable TV. These bundles are affordable and there are no setup fees. However, the content of each package depends on the number of stations that opt.

DirecTV now

DirecTV now is a very popular option among Internet TV package users. It offers several English-language packages and one that focuses on Spanish-language channels.

“Plus” offers more than 40 channels and costs $50 per month. The next plan, “Max”, has over 50 channels and will cost you $70 per month. “Entertainment” has over 65 channels and the monthly subscription is $93. The “Ultimate” package includes more than 125 channels and will cost you $135 per month.



“Optimo Mas” is there for Spanish speakers. It has over 90 channels and costs $86 per month.

FuboTV

FuboTV is a great option for sports junkies. The app offers more than 70 channels, mostly sports-oriented, from all over the country. There are no ABC network programs, although you can watch local CBS, NBC and Fox channels almost anywhere.

FuboTV offers several standard packages, as well as a ton of add-ons. The first month with the basic "fubo" package costs $39,99, while each subsequent month costs $45,99. It includes more than 80 channels. The “fubo Extra” option costs $49,99 after the first month and has 20 additional channels.

The “fubo Latino” package costs $17,99 per month and has around 15 channels in Spanish. A Portuguese package is also available.

Sling TV

Sling TV was the first Internet TV service in the United States when it launched in 2014. As of this writing, it has several million subscribers across the country. Sling TV is famous for its affordable and reliable service.


Sling TV's menu is based on Fox and NBC channels, with ABC and CBS completely absent. There are two main subscription plans: “Sling Orange” and “Sling Blue”. Both cost $25 per month and have around 40 channels each. You can combine them for full coverage. The “Orange + Blue” plan will cost you $40 per month.

Antenna OTA

If you don't want to worry about bundles, providers and monthly subscriptions, you can choose to install an over-the-air antenna (OTA). Keep in mind that this option is recommended for users who have TVs with the Roku operating system. To connect the antenna to the TV, you will need to follow the instructions on your TV screen. You can find them in the main menu.


This way you will be able to watch your local NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC and CW channels for free. If you want to save your favorite games, movies and TV show episodes, the best is to buy Table.

Subscribe to your favorite channel

Finally, you can pay for a subscription to most of your favorite local channels. For example, CBS All Access (available as an app on Roku) gives you access to your favorite shows, news, sports, and movies nationwide, as well as anything locally broadcast.

Other major channels have the same option. Although you have to pay a monthly fee for these types of services, it's certainly a lot cheaper than paying a monthly cable or satellite bill.

Latest Thoughts

Roku is a great OTT device that offers a ton of features and possibilities, and watching local TV channels is one of them. If you're a cord cutter reluctant to give up your favorite local channels, Roku has your back no matter how deep your wallet.

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