Roku wants you to rediscover local news. The company’s upcoming OS 12 update will add a local news hub, which lets you watch live news channels near you or in major US cities. Additionally, the update adds expanded sports coverage, a discovery easier premium subscription and an improved “Continue Watching” section.
The local news feature is based on Roku’s live TV channel guide, which aggregates streams for more than 350 TV channels. The company says its AI-powered news recommendations offer a curated discovery experience. After you install the update, you’ll find local news in the operating system’s Live TV Zone or by searching for “local news.” Additionally, the update will make it easier to discover and subscribe to premium live TV channels that you haven’t subscribed to.
Roku is beefing up its sports section, which launched last year. It’s adding golf and more soccer programming, including Spanish-language coverage for some leagues. The software will soon display a more personalized sports section based on your “location, favorite team, favorite sport, and viewing habits.” Plus, it’s adding CBS Sports, MLB.TV, the NBA app, and NBC Sports to the channels shown on the Roku OS sports hub.
The update also adds Continue Watching, which makes jumping back to where you left off easier. Roku says the section will display content to pick up content almost instantly “from supported channels,” including Discovery+ and Prime Video. (BET+, Freevee, Frndly TV, and Starz are coming later.)
Roku’s mobile app is also undergoing some improvements. It will have “a more refined, improved and visually immersive interface” with expanded account settings and a new registration and login process. Additionally, the company says the app’s Home tab will have a simpler interface with dedicated sections for Sports and Continue Watching. Finally, it will soon add the live TV channel guide to the smartphone app.
Roku says that OS 12 will be released “in the next few weeks.” Some features, such as channel partners, content expansion, and mobile app updates, will arrive in the coming months.