How To Watch Free Local Channels On Roku

Not Cable Local Stations On Roku

One of the nice aspects of watching local channels is that you can get information and news specifically related to the community in which you reside.   You can get updates on local high school sports, upcoming events in the area, and local weather, along with closing information in the event of severe weather.

You can still access some of your local stations without having to subscribe to cable TV or one of the several streaming TV services.    It won’t be as straightforward and it might be a recorded broadcast, but it will be free.  Here are a few ways you can view some of your local stations for free using Roku.

See If Your Local Channels Offer A Roku Channel

Nbc Boston

In order to watch local broadcast stations on Roku, you will need to add a news Channel to your account.  If your local broadcast station offers a Roku Channel, you will be able to view live broadcasts.  Quite a few regionally local stations offer Roku Channels, so be sure to do a search for your city (Chicago, Philadelphia, etc) in Roku’s Channel Store.

Check If Your Local Television Channels Are Offered By Other Roku Channels

If a local broadcast station isn’t available as a channel, you can install a few news Channels that offer recently recorded local broadcasts as well as live streaming (in select cities).  Although watching recorded broadcasts isn’t quite the same as watching it live, after sampling 3 different regions we found that some broadcasts were literally only 30 minutes behind the original airing.

Not Cable Locast


If you are located in select cities (currently 25 are available) and near a Locast DMA (Digital Marketing Area), you can watch live local programming on Roku, on your computer, laptop or mobile device.

To see if you are eligible to view live local programming, visit the Locast DMA page.

Their current list (as of 11/2020) is as follows:

Los Angeles
New York
Puerto Rico
Rapid City
San Francisco
Sioux City
Sioux Falls
Tampa Bay
Washington DC
West Palm Beach

Not Cable Haystack News

Haystack News

Haystack News offers over 300 local and global news channels.  We really like Haystack News, especially because it lets you filter local stations by state.  In their search box, add a # to your state’s name to see a list of available stations (for example:  #Virginia), or search for you local station by their 4 letter call sign (wtkr).  Click here to search Haystack news.

Not Cable Local Now

Local Now

While Local Now does not offer access or streaming of local stations, they may be an option should the 2 other Channels not be available in your area.  Local Now offers a localized stream of news based on the locations you select.  There are currently 220 localized streams available.   One nice aspect of Local Now is that you can get your current weather conditions, which are provided by the Weather Channel.  If you live in area affected by severe weather, Local Now would provide alerts warning you of these conditions. In order to view this localized content, we need to know your designated location. We promise, we are NOT trying to be sneaky here. We just want you to have access to the local information as designated by you…for you.

The Roku Channel offers ABC NEWSLIVE, which you can also view on your mobile device.

How To Watch Free Local Channels Live On Roku TV

Without opting into a streaming TV service provider, you can still access live broadcasts of local stations using a Roku TV and an HD antenna.  If you have a Roku TV, you can add an HDTV antenna to watch your favorite local channels as well as any other broadcast national shows and networks.

The FCC provides a list of stations that may be available for your location using an HDTV antenna.  This could include ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, and CW.  Visit their page and enter your zip code to see available channels that are within range of your home.

Click here to view Roku’s instructions on how to add an antenna to your Roku TV.