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Roku Channel adds more local NBC News streams

(Graphic by The Desk)

Streaming platform Roku has added several more advertisement-supported streams to its free service the Roku Channel, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The new channels include one programmed by Roku itself, four distributed by NBC News and six offered by the E. W. Scripps Company.

The channels include three new local streams of NBC-owned news stations in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego. The channels replay news and locally-produced lifestyle programming that airs on local NBC stations in each market.

Two of the stations — NBC San Francisco Bay Area news and NBC San Diego News — appear to be exclusive to the Roku Channel for now: Despite being branded “Peacock Edition,” neither of the streams were available to access on Peacock as of Tuesday afternoon.

The move comes less than a month after Roku and Comcast’s NBC Universal forged an agreement to bring NBC News streams from other locations to the Roku Channel, including feeds of Peacock Edition stations from New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

In addition to the NBC local stations, Roku is also offering up six ad-supported linear networks programmed by Scripps, including Bounce XL, Court TV, Grit Xtra and national feeds of its Ion, Ion Mystery and Ion Plus general entertainment channels. Those feeds have been available for some time on other services like Samsung TV Plus.

“We’re thrilled to continue rolling out new channels to our Live TV Guide and continue expanding in entertainment categories we know our audiences enjoy and value,” Ashley Hovey, the head of Roku’s ad-supported video service, said in a statement e-mailed to reports on Tuesday. “From local news channels to your favorite drama and crime series, to additional Spanish-language content, we are committed to providing it all for our viewers.”

Executives at Roku claim the platform has the top free, ad-supported streaming service based on active account reach. The Roku Channel competes with similar free streaming offerings like Paramount Global’s Pluto TV, Comcast’s Xumo, Fox Corporation’s Tubi and Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s STIRR.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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