Roku launches new cross-platform Sports Experience

Mike Wheatley

Roku says that its TVs are getting a new “Sports Experience” on the homepage that will serve as a one-stop shop for user’s live and upcoming sports coverage from across multiple channels and streaming apps.


The company explained that a recent poll of sports fans showed that 61% of them would prefer to have a centralised location from which they can watch all of their favourite sports. Moreover, 63% indicated they’d enjoy an experience that allows them to browse for their favourite teams and leagues in one place. So Roku has decided to give its users exactly what they’re asking for.

Hence, users will now see a new “Sports experience” on the Home screen menu, alongside other items such as What to Watch, Search and Store.

The experience seems to be aimed primarily at American sports fans. Selecting the Sports tab reveals various rows that let users browse by sports categories, such as professional and college “football”, basketball, pro hockey, soccer, the FIFA World Cup 2022 and so on. There are also rows such as “Events on Now”, “Upcoming Events” and various individual sports applications. Users can click on one of the tiles for a live or upcoming game and they’ll see a list of channels that are covering the event. It makes the browsing experience that much simpler.

The company is promising “deeper, more convenient integration” of sports within its search results too, and also within the Sports Zone.

Roku already supports a fairly extensive range of channels and services within the Sports hub, with content available from Apple TV, DirecTV, Fox Sports, FuboTV, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, Sling, TNT, TBS, TruTV and The Roku Channel. In the coming months, Roku plans to add additional channels and services, it said.

It seems like a timely move for Roku as many of the big streaming services are putting a greater emphasis on live sports action, especially in the U.S. For instance, Amazon is currently showing its first season of Thursday Night Football, while Paramount+ offers some live NFL games. Peacock has its Sunday Night Football show, and Apple offers Friday Night Baseball and will show Major League Soccer from next year.

“We know that keeping track of where sports are being streamed has only become more fragmented over the past few years,” said Alex Hill, Director of Live & Sports, Roku. “Watching your favourite 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 favourite teams.”