With just a little black box, Roku is able to deliver a fully immersive entertainment experience right within the comfort of your very own home. Using your paid and free subscriptions, it integrates with several popular streaming services and serves as a home for all of your favorite channels, music and services.
Regardless of whether you have a cable TV subscription or use streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, Roku can give you access to thousands of channels, making it a perfect fit for anyone who watches TV.
Whether you choose the Roku free channels or the paid private channels, Roku gives you no shortage of content to choose from.
The best paid Roku channels
Your Roku TV channels include all of your favorite paid subscriptions in one easy place.
These are our top picks for the best free Roku channels.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu with Live TV is one of the best streaming services overall, serving as a complete alternative to cable TV. Starting at $55 a month, you can watch live TV with tons of free Roku channels, including ESPN, FOX News, TNT, HGTV, NBC, FOX and more. You will also have access to an enormous on-demand library that rivals Netflix.
Philo is a dream come true for budget-minded Roku owners. If you’re after live TV, no other service offers such a good value for your money. Philo starts at just $20 per month, with nearly 60 channels to stream live. Enjoy networks like AMC, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Food Network and HGTV. However, to keep prices low, Philo does not offer news or sports.
fuboTV is a sports-focused streaming service that makes it easy for cord-cutters to still keep up with their favorite sports teams. It costs $55 per month with up to 165 channels to stream live. While this used to include mostly sports networks, fuboTV has expanded its repertoire in recent years to accommodate an extended amount of entertainment and news networks.
AT&T TV NOW
AT&T TV NOW is one of the best Roku channels available when you still want easy access to live TV. The service offers a simple way to stream live TV with over 120 networks that include favorites like AMC, ESPN, TBS, CNN, FOX News and HGTV. Local coverage of NBC, FOX and CBS is also available in most regions. AT&T TV NOW starts at $40 a month and is completely contract-free, making it one of our overall favorite Roku paid channels.
Sling TV is another great alternative to cable, allowing you to watch over 30 channels for $30 per month. Sling TV is a great way to watch live TV on Roku with key channels like ESPN, CNN, TBS, Comedy Central and the Cartoon Network. It’s very similar to having cable but much cheaper and doesn’t require a contract.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Instant Video is similar to Netflix, providing on-demand streaming with thousands of movies, TV shows, documentaries and more. It’s not a live streaming service like Sling TV, but it offers an impressive selection of on-demand content. You will have not only the latest TV shows and movies but also exclusive Amazon Originals, which are not available anywhere else. Amazon Prime costs $119 per year and includes a host of other perks like free 2-day shipping and free music streaming.
No list would be complete without Netflix, one of the most popular online streaming services. Netflix offers perhaps the most impressive library of on-demand content, ranging from TV shows to movies to Netflix originals. Your paid membership will begin at just $9 per month, a serious bargain considering the amount of content that you receive. Netflix is also very well established, so their Roku channel works very well and quickly.
Our Netflix review has all of the details!
The best free Roku channels
Roku gives you access to tons of free channels that don’t require any expensive contracts or agreements. These are our favorite free Roku channels.
The great thing about YouTube is the sheer amount of content that is available to you for free. Original YouTube channels offer everything from comedy skits to music videos, and there are also plenty of TV shows and movies available. There really is something for everyone here, and while it’s not the paid option with live TV, it’s definitely one worth having.
Vevo is excellent for the music enthusiast because it features music videos and performances. It’s like the musical cousin of YouTube with thousands of new music videos and all of the classics to send you down memory lane.
Crackle is one of the most popular free streaming networks. Although the selection isn’t as diverse as Netflix or Hulu, it’s free, and there are plenty of great movies and TV shows to watch. Crackle is the exclusive home to shows like Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Crash, Sports Jeopardy, and StartUp. Coupled with movies, this makes Crackle one of the best Roku channels around.
Visit our Crackle review to learn more about this free service.
CW Seed doesn’t have the full lineup of CW shows, but they do have a bunch of new shows and plenty of older shows with CW Seed exclusives. If you’re looking for a good laugh, check out all of the episodes of Whose Line is it Anyway available through the CW Seed free Roku channel.
Although PBS is free, the content is limited and can be hit or miss, depending on your taste. These days, however, PBS has some of the best TV around, with their Masterpiece collection including Downton Abbey, Grantchester, Indian Summers and Poldark. You’ll be able to find full episodes of these shows and many others for free.
Sports on Roku devices
Sports enthusiasts will love all of the sports available through Roku channels. Get all of the latest updates with Fox Sports, Fox Sports Go and ESPN on Roku, and catch all of the suspense on NFL, NFL Network and NFL RedZone on Roku. There are even local channels for local sports coverage.
Local channels on Roku devices
The Roku private channels are great for streaming, but viewers still have a need for local news. With the local channels on Roku, you’ll have access not only to the news going on around you but also the sports and events happening in your local communities.
Our hot take
With thousands of Roku channels, you don’t have to choose between free and paid channels and private versus local channels. Roku ensures that you have it all, wrapped up in one easy-to-use streaming device. In just seconds, you can turn your home into an entertainment megacenter fit for the whole family and at a price tag you can afford, too.