Can You Access Local Channels on Roku? Find Out Now

Roku devices have become very popular with streamers for the vast amount of content they provide access to, but there’s so much content on these devices that it’s hard to sift through it all and see what’s available. What are local channels? Can you get local news and other local/regional channels on Roku devices?

A large number of regional TV and news channels (within the USA and globally) are available on Roku devices, many of them free of charge. Local news, sports, weather, radio are available, and also other local channels with an antenna on Roku TV devices.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at Roku’s functionality, the accessibility of local channels via the platform, a review of associated Roku apps, and a practical guide on overcoming any potential roadblocks.

How Roku Works (Quick Explanation)

Roku is an advanced streaming platform that was born out of a simple notion: to make the entertainment experience more engaging, accessible, and affordable to consumers.

Roku is not your typical TV or cable network, but a digital media player offering both free and subscription-based broadcasting. Using a Roku device, users have access to loads of content, made available through various Roku channels that include popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, and many more. Plus local channels, which we’ll cover just below.

One of the primary selling points of Roku is its ease of use and functionality. Plugin the hardware into the TV, connect it to the internet, set up an account, and you’re good to go – you have a whole universe of entertainment at your fingertips!

Roku delivers comprehensive search results ranked by price, encouraging an absolute user-centric experience. Besides, Roku is not just limited to TV shows and movies. It has branched out into other forms of entertainment like music streaming services, gaming channels, fitness apps, local channels and more.

What Local US Channels Are Available On Roku Devices?

There’s a massive selection of local US based channels available on Roku. Here’s a quick run down of some of the more popular ones

Local News Channels:

  • Fox News – Main news channels plus local affiliate channels in Boston, Denver, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas, Detroit, Minneapolis, DC, Atlanta, San Diego, Milwaukee, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Houston, NY, Tampa Bay, Orlando, Seattle, LA etc.
  • CBS News – Main news channel plus local affiliate channels in Miami, Chicago, LA, Colorado, NY, Detroit, Baltimore, Boston, Sacramento, Minnesota, Portland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Bay Area, Colorado.
  • ABC News – Main news channel plus local affiliate channels in Utah, Chicago, Philadelphia, LA, Raleigh, Houston, San Francisco, Fresno, NY etc.
  • NBC News – Main news channel plus MSNBC channels plus local affiliate channels in Connecticut, WCBD, KETK.

Other USA News/Local Channels:

  • Newsmax
  • Very Local
  • Real America’s Voice
  • Local Now
  • Court TV
  • BlazeTV
  • Scripps News
  • CGTN
  • CNN
  • Haystack News
  • NewsON
  • KHOU Houston
  • KTLA+
  • WSB Now – Channel 2
  • News Channel 5 Nashville
  • WRAL-TV North Carolina
  • WSB Atlanta
  • WeatherNation 
  • The Weather Network
  • The Weather Channel
  • FOX Weather

Local radio stations:

  • iHeartRadio
  • TuneIn

Local/regional sports:

You’re best off subscribing to a service that’s available on Roku devices (eg. fuboTV, Hulu, Sling) and streaming sports on your Roku device that way. But local sports will often incur an extra cost.

Visit this page to search for any local channel you’re looking for to see if it’s available on Roku

What Local Channels Are Available In Other Countries On Roku?

Roku does focus a lot on the US market, with USA based news and content being widely available. But they do serve channels and content for and from other countries as well.

Here are some other local channels based in other countries you can get on Roku:

  • All BBC News channels (including regional ones like BBC Wales/Scotland etc).
  • Al Jazeera News Channels
  • Rai News (Italy)
  • The News (UK)
  • GB News (UK)
  • Sky News (UK)
  • France 24
  • NHK World Japan
  • DW News
  • TRT World (Istanbul)
  • Down Under Live (Australia)
  • 92 News HD (Pakistan)
  • Channels TV (Nigeria)
  • Tagesshau (Germany)
  • AlArabyTV
  • Al Hadath
  • The Weather Network
  • WION (India)

Are Local Channels Free On Roku?

Most of the local channels are free on Roku devices, especially the news channels. Some other local channels may provide a basic free service but require a subscription to access certain content.

But a large amount of the local channels are Roku, especially the US and global news ones, are free and you’re good to go streaming them without paying anything extra. 

Accessing Local Channels Via An Antenna (Roku TV)

Another way you can access local channels is by hook-up up your Roku TV device to an antenna/aerial, and receiving local TV the old fashioned “analogue” way, without even needing internet (this only works with Roku TV though).

Here’s how you do this:

  • Connect the antenna to your Roku TV
  • Go to Settings
  • Go to TV Inputs….Antenna TV….Set Up Input 
  • Follow the steps on screen to complete the setup
  • You can now receive local channels through your antenna.

See here for a guide on doing this.

More Ways To Access Local Channels Through Roku

We’ve already covered how you can use Roku’s vast library to delve into local news, weather reports, sports, and more that are broadcasted from nearby TV stations.

Here are some other features and options open to Roku users:

Private Channels – Another promising solution lies within “private channels” or “non-certified channels,” secret channels not available in the Roku Channel Store, but can be added manually. A wealth of these private channels offer local content, ranging from news broadcasts to community-created content.

A word of caution though- being non-certified, they are not officially sanctioned by Roku and you need to add them using unique codes available on the internet.

TV Pause – If you prefer a more technological solution, certain Roku devices, such as the Roku Ultra, have a feature called “Live TV Pause”. This allows you to connect an antenna to your Roku device, which in turn enables pausing and playback options for up to 90 minutes of live antenna TV on your Roku TV.

Third Party Apps – The more adventurous Roku users can employ a more indirect, yet effective way: by linking third-party apps to stream local channels. Syncing devices such as HDHomeRun, a network-attached TV tuner, can enable local streaming. Other software services like Plex, a media server, can also be set up to bring local content to your Roku device. These methods may require some technical expertise but can give you access to local content.

Roku, with its remarkable versatility, allows users a range of options to access local content. Be it through private channels, antennas, or third-party apps, there’s more than one way to turn your Roku device into a local content powerhouse. Leverage technology effectively and make the most of this advanced streaming platform. Whether you’re wanting hometown news or local sports action, Roku has got you covered.

Potential Problems With Accessing Local Channels on Roku

While Roku reigns supreme in streaming innovation, it isn’t without its obstacles, particularly when venturing into the realm of accessing local content. Here’s some of the main ones

Geographic restrictions – As Roku servers locate your IP address to define your location, users may find that some local channels are limited or completely unavailable due to location-based licensing restrictions. This, in turn, could potentially restrict access to local news, sports events, and other region-specific programming.

Uncertified channels – Additionally, while Roku allows for access to private or non-certified channels, this might come with its own set of challenges. These channels have not been reviewed or verified by Roku for security and content. Consequently, users who add these channels are more vulnerable to data and security threats. Furthermore, Roku maintains a right to remove these private channels without any prior notice, so they may suddenly disappear.

Antenna/Streaming Issues – Implementing an antenna might provide an effective workaround for streaming local channels on your Roku TV. However, this can lead to additional complexity. Getting the antenna properly set up and finding the right signal strength could potentially take users outside their technical comfort zone. Moreover, features like “Live TV Pause” are, unfortunately, not universally applicable and are exclusive to some particular Roku models. 


I provide useful info on streaming services.

Recent Posts