When it comes to streaming TV, all sports fans want to do is watch the big games with as little hassle as possible.
But as games have spread to an increasing number of different streaming services, it has become harder to know which subscriptions you need to see which games.
Streaming giant Roku is trying to fix this problem by creating a centralized location to find sports streaming content with its new “Sports” experience tool. This tool, which launched on November 10, 2022, is free to all Roku users.
You still need subscriptions to several different live TV streaming services to stream many games, though. And even some traditionally-video on-demand oriented services, such as Apple TV+, Peacock and Paramount+, have started acquiring exclusive streaming rights for sporting events.
Let’s take a look at how you can find the Sports tool and what it has to offer.
How To Find the New Roku Sports Tool
To find the new Sports tool on your Roku device, you simply need to scroll on your home screen menu until you see the “Sports” option.
You also can use search for “sports” or associated words like a team or league name in Roku Search or using Roku Voice. This should land you on the new Sports hub.
You’ll want to make sure your Roku device has installed the latest updates to ensure it has the latest menu options.
What’s In the New Roku Sports Tool
So now that you’ve found the new tool, you’re probably wondering how it will save you time and confusion.
The pitch is simple: Rather than clicking around from streaming service to streaming service, you’ll have one spot to search and browse for every game available to watch live. This will allow you to pinpoint the game you want to watch more quickly and go to the streaming service that offers it.
Alex Hill, Roku’s director of live and sports content, explains the inspiration for the concept:
“We know that keeping track of where sports are being streamed has only become more fragmented over the past few years. Watching your favorite teams should be simple, so we’ve made it a priority to build out a more seamless and streamlined way to discover and watch sports on our platform. Sports are a vital part of the streaming experience, and we will continue to make enhancements to that experience, like adding more supported providers and finding new ways for our users to follow their favorite teams.”
Within the new Sports experience, users will see live and upcoming games sorted by teams, leagues, conferences and more.
Roku says that when you click on the tile for a game you’re interested in watching, you’ll see options for that event from supported channels.
This screen should offer up options to click on the streaming services broadcasting the game, as pictured below:
If you’re logged into an existing subscription on your Roku device, this menu should allow you to choose that service and take you to the broadcast of that game through that app.
Roku’s new release says that users can also choose to “select various zones specific to individual sports or leagues to view live and upcoming games or events, discover content specific to their favorite leagues, or explore rows of free sports content.”
The Roku Channel, which is Roku’s free streaming service, has recently launched free sports content native to that app. This includes popular shows such as The Rich Eisen Show (which previously aired on Peacock) and Emeril Lagasse’s new “Emeril Tailgates” show.
Which Streaming Services Are Supported?
Roku says the Sports experience is supported by access to the following platform’s sports menus:
- Apple TV
- FOX Sports
- Prime Video (Amazon)
- The Roku Channel
The news release indicates that more viewing options will be added in the coming months, but on the surface that leaves some holes in the coverage of apps that could potentially be livestreaming pro and college sports.
Some popular apps that stream live sports that are not mentioned in this release include:
- Hulu + Live TV
- YouTube TV
- ESPN and ESPN+
- NBA League Pass
- NFL Sunday Ticket
- Bally Sports+
While cutting the cord to ditch the costly cable bill has many advantages, finding sporting events easily is not one of them. Kudos to Roku for trying to solve this problem for its users.
If you have a Roku streaming dongle or a Roku TV, I’d definitely recommend giving this a try. There’s no cost barrier to checking it out if you already have a Roku device.
And since Roku says that a more robust menu of streaming services will be available in the coming months, you may want to give it an extended test run to see if the results get better over time.
Have you cut the cord and have a system for streaming your favorite sports? We’d love to hear about it in the Clark.com community.