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Roku has a channel for just about everything: on-demand movies, live baseball, and even live feeds of pandas and other animals. There are channels for live TV on Roku, including “skinny bundle” live TV streaming services such as Sling TV.

But what about local channels? Experienced cord-cutters and longtime readers may know local channels are available for free over the air (OTA) with the use of an OTA antenna, but is there a way to integrate this experience into the Roku interface? Are there streaming apps for watching local channels? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to get local channels on Roku devices.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream local channels on Roku:

  Price Channels Free Trial  
$69.99 – $139.99 65+ None

See Offer

$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

See Offer

$64.99 – $33.00 220+ 7 days

See Offer

$35 – $50 30+ – 130+ 3 days

See Offer

$4.99 – $99.99 N/A 7 days

See Offer

How to Get Local Channels on Roku

There are a few solutions for getting live local networks on Roku.

The first is a live TV streaming service, or “skinny bundle.” The bad news is that the major network feeds on each of these skinny bundles are limited to select markets. The good news is that it’s easy enough to find out whether you’re in one of the lucky markets.

The second option is free over-the-air TV, which can be combined with the Roku platform in a few ways that we’ll talk about below.

Finally, there are a couple other unique options to consider. Read on to learn how to watch local networks on Roku, with no cable required.

Stream local channels on Roku for free with DIRECTV Stream

See Offer

DIRECTV Stream is a skinny bundle controlled by AT&T. It offers a plethora of local channels, including local networks and regional sports networks. To learn more about the service, read our review of DIRECTV Stream.

Stream local channels on Roku for free with Hulu

Free Trial at Hulu

Hulu’s entry into the skinny-bundle market offers a lot to Roku users. Among Hulu + Live TV’s channels are live local networks and RSNs. You can read more about Hulu + Live TV in our review of the service, or you can check out the free trial and see what you think.

Stream local channels on Roku for free with fuboTV

Free Trial at fuboTV

fuboTV initially focused entirely on live soccer coverage. It's now a more typical skinny bundle that includes a wide range of networks, although it still bills itself as “the world’s only sports-focused live TV streaming service.” In select markets, fuboTV offers great local channels and RSNs. You can read our review of fuboTV to learn more.

Stream local channels on Roku for free with Sling TV

See Offer

Sling TV typically encourages subscribers to get an antenna to watch local channels. That’s not a bad idea, but Sling TV also offers viewers in a few markets the chance to watch local FOX or NBC stations. New York, Chicago, and Dallas/Fort Worth are among the eligible markets.

Stream local channels on Roku for free with Paramount Plus

See Offer

CBS All Access is now Paramount Plus. There’s more to watch now that this streaming service has rebranded, but you can still get a livestream of CBS through Paramount Plus. It’s not available in every market, though, so make sure to check that it’s available where you live. We’ve also got a Paramount Plus review that can give you the full scoop on the mountain of entertainment this rebranded service promises to deliver.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is a skinny bundle with Google’s YouTube branding. In addition to live television, YouTube TV boasts local channels and RSNs in select markets. YouTube TV also offers a free trial to new customers.

Free Over-the-Air TV

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. If you’re using one of Roku’s smart TV models, adding an antenna to the setup is as easy as plugging it in and scanning for channels. If you have an external Roku streaming device, however, you’ll have to get more creative. You can use an OTA DVR and corresponding app such as Tablo, or you can set up a Plex server on a PC and use a PC TV tuner and Plex’s live TV feature to stream live OTA TV on your Roku through the Plex app. For more, check out our coverage of free over-the-air TV, Plex, and Tablo.

NewsON

NewsON is a unique app that offers live broadcasts of local news stations. It’s for local news stations only, so it won’t help you pick up things like CBS and FOX NFL broadcasts or NBC’s national “Nightly News” program. Still, NewsON has appeal. It offers a pretty wide range of local news networks streaming live. NewsON’s selection was pretty slim at first, but it has grown and now offers a solid selection of local news stations from all around the country. It’s worth downloading NewsON on your Roku device to see whether your preferred local news station participates in NewON’s live broadcasts.

Watch Local Channels on Any Device, Anywhere

Want to watch local channels without cable on more than just your Roku device? We have you covered.

64 thoughts on “How to Get Local Channels on Roku

  1. Carol says:

    NBC and ABC both have apps on Roku that lets you watch some on demand shows without a login. PBS has a free app, I’m not sure about Fox, and CBS All Access is a paid subscription. There is a lot of major broadcast shows available on Roku. Only CBS All Access has a live stream in most locations.

    1. Mark Matthews says:

      All the major broadcast channels including ABC, NBC, FOX, and CW have their own channel apps on Roku where you can watch some recent content on there. Only the greedy CBS does not have a complimentary Roku channel, instead wanting to unilaterally set up a pay service for another revenue stream.

    2. Deborah Nordby says:

      We have Dish Network but I’d like to eliminate it. The TV in the living room doesn’t work with our outdoor antenna.
      I have a ROKU box & purchased the CBS All Access but I want to get the other two local networks. Can I do that with just my Roku box?

      1. Stephen Lovely says:

        Hi Deborah, thanks for reading! You can get local channels on Roku using using a skinny bundle like the ones listed in this article

        1. Anonymous says:

          How do I do that

          1. Stephen Lovely says:

            There are links to sign up in the article, or you can sign up through your streaming device.

      2. Craig says:

        Hey, Deborah!

        You can add ABC, FOXNOW, NBC, PBS, CW, CW Feed, Comet, and Bounce, all broadcast networks, and all FREE. These are all the _national_ networks, not necessarily your local network affiliate. You may not be able to stream episodes until the day after they originally air, though. You may be able to find your local affiliate’s news app in the Roku “channel store,” or in the FREE NewsOn or Haystack “channels”/apps.

        Also, be sure to add PlutoTV and Stirr. Both give you access to different cable and broadcast network programming, as well as a huge selection of other options, to include on demand movies, Nickelodeon, and even MTV, all for FREE!

        1. Michelle Frey says:

          what about CNN, Hallmark etc? And I really truly am happy with what I have but want to add Britbox and Acorn.. Can I do that with a ROKU box

          1. Stephen Lovely says:

            Hi Michelle, thanks for reading! A Roku device will support apps that include CNN, Hallmark Channel, and other networks. You’ll just need to subscribe to a skinny bundle that includes the channels you want.

      3. Bettah says:

        Just get an antenna and a Firestick. I live in a non metro area and receive 4 Spanish stations, 6 English speaking stations.the homemade stealth antenna Is hanging inside my window, facing the antenna farms. Instructions from YouTube. With a Firestick you can watch any movie, or series you want. Youtube is helpful. VPN slows down internet significantly. Don’t bother W/VPN unless you’re a downloader. I initially loved the Roku, but it’s very limited.
        If you live metro, use an antenna, inside, or attic. Free locals. Firestick is less $ and a better (IMO) entertainment option.

      4. Anonymous says:

        Try locast.org

        1. Jeff says:

          Sadly shut down

    3. Mona says:

      Can’t find any local channels such as channel10 abc or channel 12 nbc on roku

    4. Camellia Dell says:

      I have a Roku tv that is hooked up to cable. I was originally able to watch the news channels and now they have all disappeared?

    5. Donna says:

      How do you connect to NBC if you don’t have a cable provider

      1. Jerome says:

        Get a digital antenna, they don’t cost much maybe $20, it will pick up all local channels, and, cbs, nbc, fox and more.

        1. jerume says:

          what if you can’t have an anttena on the outside of the house, an internal ones are too weak to get signal?

        2. Mike Bergan says:

          What about channels like Decades,Antenna time tv ,etc?

  2. Bill says:

    If you are in the Tampa Bay area, the local ABC Action News has a channel on Roku.

    1. Kathy says:

      I have ruko in Howell Michigan how to get CBS soaps

      1. Mona says:

        I’m in sulphur. Oklahoma

        1. Nasreen Chaudhry says:

          No news channels, very disappointing

      2. Jerome says:

        Buy a digital antenna and connect to the back of your tv

  3. Dorothy says:

    I dropped DirecTV, tried Google Fiber TV for a year, loved it but can’t afford it. I am using an antenna, plus Sling TV. I’m managing with that combination. My problem is that now with the new season starting, I won’t be able to DVR local antenna shows.

    I can’t afford any expensive equipment and monthly fee. Do you have other suggestions?

    Thank you.

    1. Craig says:

      Hi, Dorothy!

      With your antenna and SlingTV, you’ve got a great combination! For less than $100, you can add an AirTV box (https://www.airtv.net/products/airtv/), and then add an external Hard Disk, for FREE DVR for your over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts. The best part about this solution? With the SlingTV app, your OTA broadcasts, as well as the OTA recordings are integrated into your SlingTV experience! Even if you decide to cancel your SlingTV service, you can continue to use the AirTV box and your external hard disk DVR with the SlingTV Roku “channel”/app… Better, still- you can watch your local channels on multiple TVs in your home, and even your smartphone, tablet, and computer, while at home, and away (limit of two AirTV streams, concurrently, including recordings)! Your OTA DVR capacity is limited only by the size of your hard disk (500 GB – 2 TB). Once you buy the equipment, and the hard disk, there are no other costs. Be sure to get the AirTV (black) box, and _NOT_ the AirTV Player (white) or dongle. Additionally, they often offer promotions in which you can get credit for your SlingTV service.

    2. Jerome says:

      Try Hulu. That’s what I use for all my “prime time” tv shows

  4. David S. says:

    You updated this article but didn’t mention the recently released ClearStream TV Over-The-Air Television Digital Tuner? It’s a less expensive but more limited alternative to Tablo for accessing your own antenna from any Roku.

    https://www.antennasdirect.com/store/Clearstream-TV-Over-the-Air-Television-Digital-Tuner.html

    Also Plex Live may make its way to Roku soon as well. But in the meantime there have been workarounds for watching a stream form a HDHomeRun on a Roku for some time now.

    https://github.com/computmaxer/roku-hdhomerun
    https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/101755/rel-hdhomerun-viewer/p1
    https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/83233/hdsurfer-plug-in-for-hdhomerun/p34

    1. Ville Salminen says:

      Thank you for your insights, David! We’ll check out the links immediately.

  5. Richard R Kirk says:

    I recently cut and reattached to the cord in rural Oregon. Charter/Spectrum has a local monopoly on high-speed internet. I tried a combo of Sling (Blue/Orange) with DVR and sports pack along with the Charter internet service. It was more cost-effective for me to go back to cable, as they gave me a deal for the same price, that also includes HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and a regional sports network with the rights to Portland Trailblazer games. It was a way better deal than Sling, I also found the customer support for Sling to be very weak with very long waits for rude staff. It reminded me of cable without the channels.

  6. Cynthia Wells says:

    Enjoy info received. I am retired with limited income and refuse to pay $130. Per month for TV! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    1. Dennis Barker says:

      I got fed up with the expense of Charter Cable and tried Sling but, no local channels and limited lineup. So, I now have YoutubeTV. And, we love it. I get 70+ channels, my local channels and can record my favorites, etc. It’s streaming TV and an APP on both Roku and Firestick. Also, you can have up to 6 devices all logged in under 1 account and 3 users can all watch at the same time. I sometimes watch live TV on my cell phone via the YouTubeTV app. All for all for around $50.

      1. JOYCE H CHRISTOPHER says:

        How much do you pay for WiFi ?

      2. DJ Smith says:

        We are getting ready to make that switch – I’m currently paying $135 for the silver tv package with a DVR and one digital box – by simply getting rid of my TV (keeping internet and phone, so I get the bundle discount, no other internet options in my area), my bill will drop to about $115 a month. I’m going to add youtube tv and may add a couple of add-ons through my Amazon prime account for channels that youtube tv doesn’t offer, like Reelz.

        1. Michele says:

          I dropped my charter cable service to their streaming service and pay about 15.00 and get many channels that I enjoy from ID, Hallmark, LMN, WE, Sundance and many many others. Talk to your service provider to see if they offer their own streaming service.

        2. Anonymous says:

          Hi DJ
          I dropped my Charter cable service down to their streaming service for about 15.00/mo – I still get a ton of stations, like WE, Sundance, ID, Hallmark, LMN, Hunting and fishing programs, and many many more stations. I don’t miss regular cable at all and as a bundle pkg – I still saved money. You might check with your cable provider to see if they have a streaming service you can switch too. Hope this helps

  7. Sheila Hunter says:

    What about XTV? I just heard about it and it sounds good. It’s a free app.

  8. S Mason says:

    How do I delete channels I do not want?

  9. J. hestand says:

    S. Mason – Just “highlight” the channel (make sure the white square is around it) and press the options button – the * button – and select delete.

  10. Walt Bemb says:

    The one problem I see is the Cable Co. will raise your Internet cost. They are still going to get your money!

    1. DJ Smith says:

      Actually, I avoided that – we have a tv, phone, internet bundle – by keeping my internet and phone, I still keep my $20 bundle discount : ))

  11. Kathy Romero says:

    I’ve been trying for years to figure out how to cut the cord in my area. I live about 90 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona, in a town that is surrounded by mountains. This prevents an antenna being used. We would only get 1 to 3 channels all in Spanish. How can we “cut the cord” here?

  12. Dale says:

    Get a Tivo, and a Roku, cut the cable, attach an OTA antennea, a wireless router. You now have it all. We are now saving about $200 a month. Got rid of AT&T, got Ooma phone service, got rid of AT&T slow DSL line, got Comcast high speed internet only, no packages. We stream almost everything. Get Amazon Prime, or Netflix. We have more now that when we had with cable.

  13. B.Wear says:

    Dale, my question is: would I be able to have ABC,NBC,CBS,Fox, Sports channels ( specially NHL hockey MSG,MSG2+, and Movie channel like HBO, Showtime ?

  14. Regeina Wright says:

    . Yes I have a HDTV antenna on my window currently I do catch about 45 channels however I am only 55 miles from the Dallas Fort Worth or Dallas antennas and I have a 70 mile HDTV antenna with a converter box I cannot pick up ABC or NBC I can pick up CVS but not clearly why is that

    1. Stephen Lovely says:

      A lot goes into antenna reception, so it’s hard to say what’s going wrong for you. Sometimes a building or hill in the way can mess with things, and antennas often don’t quite live up to their advertised ranges. Try some of these tips and hope for the best: https://cordcutting.com/how-to-get-clear-tv-antenna-reception-tips-and-troubleshooting-techniques/

  15. Tonia Elliott says:

    What is Firestick? Where are you located?

  16. Michael AZummo says:

    I am in NJ Iam 40miles away from NYC and I cannot get abc why is that??

  17. Sandi says:

    I live in up state NY, I’m trying to get our local Fox 23 or WXXA from Albany, I have a Roku Tv and don’t know how to get the local channel live, for Giants game and supper bowl. I have frontier for internet and Dish network for satellite. Dish won’t get fox their both saying the others trying to get them to pay more money. I just want to watch our shows and my husband the giant game and super bowl. Can you help. I also have Hulu. But can’t figure out how to get local channels.

    1. Stephen Lovely says:

      Hi Sandi, thanks for reading! Carriage disputes can be frustrating, but Fox and Dish will probably make peace pretty soon. In the meantime, you can try using an antenna. Depending on how far you are from Fox 23’s broadcast tower, you might be able to pick it up with a medium-sized indoor antenna. Fox 23 is also available through some live TV streaming services, so if you’ve had it with Dish, you might want to consider cutting the cord and switching to streaming.

    2. Joe. says:

      Hi, get locast app. Streams local nyc stations for free. When you register
      it you have to be in nyc metro area. I don’t know if this will work. Next time you are in the nyc metro area bring your stick with you and register it there. Or ask a friend to login to locast website and register it for you with your code from the app.

  18. Jag39 says:

    So, to watch my local OTA PBS channels while Roku is connected to my TV is to switch between the TV and HDMI inputs on the TV remote? Is there a way to program the Roku remote to add the local OTA PBS channels?

    1. Stephen Lovely says:

      Not that I’m aware of, unfortunately. Roku TVs have the input controls built into the menus, but regular Roku boxes and sticks can’t do that.

  19. Mark York says:

    Best free Roku channels for news are NewsOn [live a.m.-noon-pm] for across the country stations by state (larger markets only) . Haystack TV for various US – International News. For international news -sports its Bel.tv for UK, EU, New Zealand, Caribbean, Africa etc..

  20. Sandra Clark says:

    Hi, I finally got rid of Dish and Direct Tv cause the price kept going up. I was tired of changing back and forth between them. I purchased a Roku tv and it’s ok but now I can only watch on 1 tv. I live in Indiana in a rural area so my internet still runs me $55. I have CBS All Access, Roku, Hulu, maybe 1 other. I pay $12 for these and only CBS is live. There is like roughly $70 and I have only 1 live streaming channel and can only use 1 tv. I was paying $120 and got dvr, hopper, and 4 tvs. If I was to purchase the live streaming on Fubo, Youtube Tv, Apple Tv, or any of the other live streaming channels I’d be paying just as much, even more depending on which one I chose, and only using 1 tv. I’m tired of living on re-runs. I’d like to stay on top of things. It seems like I should have just stayed with what I had. Don’t get me started on antennas. They are all different prices and getting just the right one for more tvs or what have you is really mind boggling. And yes I have checked on installation and that’s around $250 and up. Granite that’s a 1 time fee but hell I’m on a fixed income trying to pinch pennies and not really having any luck. I’m open for suggestions

  21. Heidi says:

    Hi how can i get abc channel with out paying for cable? is there a way i can see through using different antenna. Please help in order steps for me to understand.

    1. Stephen Lovely says:

      You should try using an antenna. You can read more here: https://cordcutting.com/devices/ota-tv/

      1. Pam Kesner says:

        I live in a rural area with mountains and can’t get any channels with an antenna.

  22. Maggie ssherman says:

    What about Chicago’s wgn,wttw,pbs,wjyn stations for my local news a d church services???

  23. Chris says:

    For large cities like Chicago. Get location for your Roku. Streams all Chicago stations for free. I too was looking for this.

    1. Chris says:

      Sorry I meant Locast for roku

  24. Chris says:

    Locast

  25. Anonymous says:

    How can you watch ABC CBS for free

  26. Ladonna says:

    How can you watch ABC CBS free if u have roku and philio

  27. Michele says:

    One of the things I did to cut costs was to drop my cable subscription down to their streaming service which only costs me about 15.00/month. I still can bundle it – but doing so cut my bill by a little more than half. I can get a ton of stations – i.e WE, Sundance, LMN, Hallmark, ID, Food Network, Hunting and fishing shows, and a host of many more channels. Alas, I still can’t access local channels but we do have a small OTA outside, although it only picks up CBS stations.

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