Roku wants you to rediscover local news. The company’s upcoming OS 12 update will add a Local News hub, which lets you watch live news channels near you or in major US cities. Additionally, the update adds expanded sports coverage, easier premium subscription discovery and an improved “Continue Watching” section.
The local news feature builds on Roku’s Live TV channel guide, which aggregates streams for over 350 broadcast television channels. The company says its AI-powered news recommendations offer a curated discovery experience. After installing the update, you’ll find local news in the operating system’s Live TV Zone or by searching for “local news.” Additionally, the update will make it easier to discover and sign up for premium Live TV channels you haven’t subscribed to.
Roku is beefing up its sports section, which launched last year. It’s adding golf and more soccer programming, including Spanish-language coverage for some leagues. The software will soon display a more personalized sports section based on your “location, favorite team, go-to sport and viewing habits.” In addition, it’s adding CBS Sports, MLB.TV, the NBA app and NBC Sports to the channels displayed in the Roku OS sports hub.
The update also adds Continue Watching, making jumping in where you left off easier. Roku says the section will display content to pick up content nearly instantly “from supported channels,” including Discovery+ and Prime Video. (BET+, Freevee, Frndly TV and Starz are set to arrive later.)
The Roku mobile app is also seeing some improvements. It will have “a more refined, elevated, and visually immersive interface” with expanded account settings and a new sign-up and sign-in process. In addition, the company says the app’s Home tab will have a simpler interface with dedicated Sports and Continue Watching sections. Finally, it will soon add the Live TV channel guide to the smartphone app.
Roku says OS 12 will roll out “in the coming weeks.” Some features, like channel partners, content expansion and mobile-app upgrades, will arrive within the coming months.
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