Are you a Roku user looking for ways to enhance your streaming TV experience?
The Roku Channel is a free service that features live streaming channels, on-demand TV shows and movies, as well as a growing library of original content.
And now users can enjoy even more free content with the announcement of two major additions to The Roku Channel’s library.
Twenty-five new live streaming channels are coming to The Roku Channel as well as original content from the now-defunct streaming service Quibi.
Here are the details.
The Roku Channel Debuts Quibi Content as Roku Originals
Beginning May 20, 2021, The Roku Channel users will have access to Quibi content that will be rebranded as “Roku Originals.”
That means you’re going to get original content from stars including Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Chance the Rapper and Chrissy Teigen. All you have to do is access The Roku Channel via your Roku device or on the internet.
This is a move that has been anticipated for a while: Roku acquired Quibi’s content library for $100 million in January 2021.
The new Roku Originals section of The Roku Channel will launch with 30 titles, according to a company blog post.
The shows include reboots of the MTV classic Punk’d (hosted by Chance the Rapper) and the Comedy Central hit Reno 911!
Hemsworth stars in a thriller titled “Most Dangerous Game,” and Hart’s new show is dubbed “Die Hart.”
Below is a sneak peek of some of the new content.
What Was Quibi?
Remember Quibi? The well-funded and heavily-promoted mobile streaming service had a short and unspectacular life of just six months before shuttering in 2020 due to a lack of subscribers.
And that makes sense, I guess.
Quibi, short for “Quick Bites,” was trying to be the first mobile-only streaming concept that produced original content. It was geared toward viewing on your phone. None of Quibi’s episodes lasted more than 10 minutes.
That meant short, easily-digestible news and entertainment content created in a way that you watch comfortably from either portrait or landscape mode on your phone — perhaps during your morning commute or in the waiting room at your dentist’s office.
That type of entertainment was in very low demand when this service launched in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
When the service went live in April 2020, I downloaded the app, watched several hours of content and produced a Team Clark review of the service.
The Roku Channel Unveils 25 New Live Streaming Channels
While the Roku Originals announcement should have free streamers excited, the good news doesn’t stop there.
The Roku Channel also announced major additions to its live streaming TV menu. There are 25 new channels from which to choose.
Television stars Johnny Carson and Jack Hanna now have their own channels on the service, and crime TV fans will be excited to see that there are two new channels dedicated to the genre.
Here’s the complete list of additions, as well as a brief description (as provided by Roku) of the content each channel will stream.
- Adventure TV: Adventure TV is a channel with inspiring shows that take viewers beyond everyday destinations. From around the world to around the block, Adventure TV excites and inspires the adventurer in all of us.
- America’s Test Kitchen: America’s Test Kitchen has been teaching home cooks how to be successful in the kitchen since 1993. Our mission is to empower and inspire confidence, community, and creativity in the kitchen.
- beIN Sports Xtra EspañolA: 24/7 Spanish language channel offering world class LIVE sports, news, analysis and highlights.
- CINEVAULT 70s: Once upon a time in Hollywood they made great movies, you dig? Enjoy the classic films of CINEVAULT 70s
- CINEVAULT 80s: Think 80s hair was big? Our stars are bigger. Hollywood’s biggest stars are fer sure the highlight of these totally awesome movies from an epic decade.
- Degrassi: Class is in session! Relive all the best moments from everyone’s favorite high school drama.
- Divorce Court: Daily relationship and common sense advice from the Honorable Judges of Divorce Court.
- Don’t Tell the Bride: Don’t Tell The Bride is the home of weddings… with a twist. With the groom solely in control of every aspect of the big day from budgeting, picking THE DRESS and the planning the bachelorette without any help from his spouse to be, what could possibly go wrong?
- Dr. G Medical Examiner: Renowned coroner Dr. Jan Garavaglia provides explanations and theories for mysterious causes of death that don’t make visible sense.
- Fuse Backstage: On Fuse Backstage superstars and emerging talent light up this collection of music bios, performances, reality shows, docs and films.
- Fuse Beat: Fuse Beat moves to the rhythm of Black culture.
- Frontdoor: Welcome, FrontDoor. Offering information and inspiration to help you make the most out of your home. Whether it’s four walls or something more exotic, our programs will inspire viewers to create that feeling of “home” anywhere.
- Heartland: Visit the Heartland ranch in Alberta, Canada and its close-knit multi-generational family in the CBC’s longest-running hourlong drama series.
- Impact Wrestling: The IMPACT! Wrestling Channel puts the spotlight on over 18 years of incredible professional wrestling action, featuring addictive storylines, awe-inspiring athleticism and larger-than-life personalities.
- Jack Hanna Channel: Welcome to Jack Hanna’s wild life! From radical reptiles to ferocious felines, adventure awaits on The Jack Hanna Channel
- Johnny Carson TV: The Johnny Carson TV channel is home for all of your favorite classic Carson moments: Animal Antics, The Best of Carnac, Legendary Stand-Up comedians and more!
- Kids Pang: Here comes Miniforce rangers, Vroomiz animal cars, Watch-Car power racing battles, Monkart monsters, and more! Let your imagination save the world, go on exciting adventures, and find a righteous heart and friendship on Kids Pang TV.
- Law&Crime: Law&Crime features daily trial coverage and original legal and true crime programs.
- Rakuten Viki: Rakuten Viki is the ultimate destination for K-Dramas and Asian entertainment. With 1000s of new and classic dramas and movies subtitled in over 100 languages, you’d be sure to find your favorites 24/7!
- Real Crime: Crime, justice, law and order … Real Crime is the place to investigate criminal cases of all types – from killers to kidnappers, from theft to fraud. Whether searching for missing persons, delving into the psyche of murderers or exploring the criminal justice system, we are your true crime fix.
- Rotten Tomatoes: The Rotten Tomatoes channel is the one-stop source for movie & TV fans! We go beyond the score with fresh takes on favorite scenes, trailers; plus mind-blowing conversations and laugh-out-loud games.
- Super Simple Songs: Super Simple makes learning fun and simple! Sing along with all your favorite Super Simple Songs or watch shows with your favorite Super Simple characters like The Bumble Nums or Carl’s Car Wash.
- Slugterra: Follow Eli as he explores the 99 caverns. Each filled with adventure, opponents, and slugs to be discovered!
- VICE: We tell stories others are not telling, to spark curiosity and discovery, challenge assumptions and always entertain. Expect premium series and documentaries covering culture and entertainment, food, tech, sports and news.
- Xumo Crime TV: Like your TV packed with thrills and a side of suspense? The case you try and solve in your dreams is now streaming on Xumo Crime TV.
What Else Can I Watch on The Roku Channel?
If these announcements are your first real exposure to The Roku Channel, you may be surprised to find out that it already has a good library of free streaming content.
Full seasons of these popular shows are available to stream on-demand:
- White Collar
- The Beverly Hillbillies
- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
- Rules of Engagement
And there also are some movies with well-known stars such as Matthew McConaughey and Will Smith. The movie titles available on the service shift often, so if you see a movie you like you may want to watch it in short order.
In total, the service boasts more than 25,000 hours of free content. You can read Team Clark’s review of the service to get a better idea of the ins and outs of it.
Roku, which has been in the news recently for its spat with Google over keeping YouTube TV on the platform, has really upped its game in the free streaming content area.
The quality of the content from Quibi was never in question. It was the business model that had people scratching their heads. So adding that original content library to The Roku Channel was a huge win for Roku.
It already was considered one of the best free streaming services on the market, and the addition of arguably some of the best free original content available only strengthens that position.
With more people than ever cutting the cord to save on monthly entertainment expenses, The Roku Channel is positioning itself alongside Pluto TV and Tubi as “must-add” options for the budget-conscious streamer.
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