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10 of the most popular free TV channels on Roku

Published Feb 17th, 2022 5:26PM EST
Roku channels screenshot
Image: Roku

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Roku device owners will be turning to the company’s built-in streaming service to watch tons of new movies in the coming days, plus Roku originals like Reno 911! Defunded, coming February 25, as well as big news events like President Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1. This is one place where Roku especially shines, because while you can include all your paid streaming subscriptions here in one place, you also get access to tons of free Roku channels.

In this post, we’ll offer a snapshot of 10 of the most popular free TV channels available to Roku streaming users. As well as how to access them.

Roku channels free list

A few quick points to note first:

You can find free Roku channels available to enjoy in the Roku Channel Store. Some of them that require paid subscriptions like Netflix can be added to your Roku for free. But, of course, you’ll still need to either sign up for a paid subscription, or link your existing paid subscription in order to enjoy it via your Roku device.

To navigate to the Roku Channel Store, it should simply be a matter of pressing the home button on your Roku remote. Then navigate to “Streaming Channels” to open the store.

Below, we list 10 of the top-rated free Roku channels. Including links to the channels as well as channel descriptions below, arranged in no particular order:

  • Crunchyroll: Stream Japan’s most popular anime with Crunchyroll.
  • Plex: Plex is your home for free movies & TV, giving you access to 200+ Live TV Channels and 50,000+ on-demand titles from around the world, all from one beautiful app. No other free streaming service delivers more content to more countries, all without a subscription.
  • Haystack Local and World News: Watch local and global news from 300+ channels. Haystack News is your go-to for hyper-relevant news, from local coverage to global current events. It’s the best way to watch a variety of coverage, all in one place, and absolutely free.

More free content to enjoy

The Roku Channel adds new channels frequently.
The Roku Channel adds new channels frequently. Image source: Roku

Besides the Roku Channel itself, additional free TV channels that are among the highest-rated by Roku users include:

  • Live TV on the Roku Channel: Enjoy instant access to more than 150 free, always-on TV channels anytime. With live news and weather, sports, food & home, reality TV, science fiction, true crime, kids’ entertainment, and Spanish language programming, we have something for everyone — and it’s all streaming free!
  • Pluto TV: Tune into your favorite channels streaming the greatest movies, binge-worthy TV shows, true crime, sports and more. Always on. And always 100% free!
  • WeatherNation: Local weather forecasts tailored for you. This free and easy to use award-winning app streams live weather newscasts from certified meteorologists, provides your local weather data, local weather alerts (US only) from NWS (National Weather Service), weather maps and more.
  • The CW: The only way to see new episodes from The CW, free with no login. Keep up with the latest from shows like All American and The Flash, or watch full seasons of new hits like Superman & Lois and Walker. And with CW Seed shows like Krypton and 90210 now available, you’ll never run out of shows to binge.

Tubi, CBS News, and Vevo

We’ll round out our list with three more. In addition to the content herein, by the way, here’s a list of new movies coming to the Roku Channel this month. Without further ado, meanwhile, here’s the rest of our top-rated free channel list:

  • Vevo: There’s always something to enjoy on Vevo. From the freshest new videos and emerging artists, to your favorite throwbacks — it’s all there … Use the search feature to find your favorite artists and music videos.
  • Tubi: Watch thousands of hit movies and TV series for free. Tubi is 100% legal unlimited streaming, with no credit cards and no subscription required. Choose what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, with fewer ads than regular TV.
  • CBS News: The CBS News app features — The 24/7 CBS News live stream with anchored coverage, up-to-the-minute reporting, and news conferences and hearings on major issues of the day — no cable subscription needed. (Plus) full episodes and on-demand clips from 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, CBS Mornings, CBS Evening News, CBS Saturday Morning, CBS Sunday Morning and Face the Nation.
Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.