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The Roku Channel Adds 5 New Free Channels Including USA Today and ACC Digital Network

Jason Gurwin

As Roku surpasses 30 million active accounts, they have continued to grow their stable of free entertainment as part of The Roku Channel. Today, the company announced the addition of five new free channels: ACC Digital Network, USA Today, Now This, Comedy Dynamics, and fubo Sports Network.

  • fubo Sports Network – fubo Sports Network is a live TV network for passionate sports fans. Watch event coverage, keep up with the day’s hottest sports topics, check out exclusive content and sports-related entertainment programming.
  • ACCDN – The ACC Digital Network covers the spectrum of one of the nation’s top intercollegiate athletic conferences, featuring original on-demand content throughout the entire year.
  • USA TODAY – USA TODAY delivers current local and national news, sports, entertainment, finance, technology, and more through award-winning journalism, photos, and videos.
  • Now This – Now This is the most watched mobile news brand in the world, providing the latest in video news, investigative reports, interviews and original series.
  • Comedy Dynamics – Comedy Dynamics network is a tastemaker for STAND UP comedy specials, TV shows, films and documentaries and features a wide range of established and emerging comedy talent.

As The Roku Channel adds more linear content, they’ve more directly competed with ad-supported apps like Viacom’s Pluto TV, Sinclair’s STIRR, Amazon’s IMDb TV, and independents Tubi and XUMO.

In February, Roku’s CEO Anthony Wood said that he thought the growth of AVOD is important to Roku’s future:

“We are the original, original in terms of bullishness on AVOD both in terms of its value to consumers and its importance in the OTT business model. We see AVOD growing pretty nicely on our Platform and clearly a growing recognition in the industry as the importance of AVOD.”

In January, Roku launched their Amazon Channels competitor with partners including Showtime, Starz, EPIX and have since added HBO. But, after reaching 10,000 free ad-supported movies and TV episodes and more than two dozen live streaming channels, don’t expect any original programming to come to The Roku Channel.

The free ad-supported network that is available to Roku customers has been a hit, but according to Roku CEO Anthony Wood, the company doesn’t have any plans to create their own content for the network.

“We have no plans to license original content. In The Roku Channel (TRC), our focus is deepen content categories and add live content,” said Wood. This is very different than Amazon, the make of Fire TV devices, that offer ad-supported content through IMDb TV, but also original shows through their Prime Video service.