Local NBC News channels launch on Roku’s free streamer

A stream for the local news version of NBC Chicago (WMAQ-TV) appears on the Roku Channel. (Graphic by The Desk)

The Roku Channel will offer several local news streams programmed by NBC owned-and-operated stations under an agreement announced on Tuesday.

The pact marks the first time the streams have been made outside of Peacock, the Comcast-owned freemium streaming service that launched two years ago.

As part of the deal, Roku’s free, ad-supported streaming service will offer streams of local news stations in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Hartford, Miami and Hartford, Connecticut — all areas where NBC owns the local station.

Streams from San Francisco, San Diego and Boston are expected to launch on the Roku Channel as they’re made available on Peacock.

“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, an executive in charge of the Roku Channel’s ad-supported business, said in a press release. “We’re excited to work with NBC Universal Local and the NBC stations to expand our relevant live TV offerings for some streamers and to bring news from multiple major cities to millions of viewers across the country to easily access and enjoy.”

In addition to streams of every local newscast, the local NBC news streams will also offer breaking news coverage and special documentaries produced by those stations.

“Local news has never been more vital to helping our audiences stay informed about what’s happening in their communities,” Meredith McGinn, the executive in charge of digital networks and original production at NBC Universal Local, said on Tuesday. “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.”

Along with the local NBC news streams, the Roku Channel also offers access to NBC News Now, Comcast’s 24-hour streaming news service, as well as Millennial-focused news and lifestyle channel NBC LX. Both streams are also available on Peacock.

NBC Universal is a subsidiary of Comcast.