It’s tough for cord-cutters who want to watch sports. Roku wants to change that, and the streaming company just revealed its new plan to improve things.
And you can find it right now in a new Roku Sports section that’s arriving on devices today (Nov. 10). This section is here to make it easy to find where live games are being streamed at the moment. No clicking through all your apps to see where NFL live streams are, or finding where your team is playing online.
Through this new home screen, you’ll be able to browse matches from your favorite teams and leagues, and have quicker access to their games in apps such as Apple TV, TNT, TBS, truTV, Peacock, DirecTV Stream, FOX Sports, FuboTV, Paramount Plus, Prime Video, Sling TV and The Roku Channel. According to a Roku spokesperson you won’t be able to personalize the experience by entering your favorite team and league as you can on Apple TV, however they say that’s something Roku’s actively working on.
Here’s what the new screen looks like:
In this screen, dubbed the “Sports experience,” Roku says users “will see live and upcoming games for an initial roster of leagues, conferences and more.”
When you select a game, you’ll then see a list of the apps and services that show that event. The Sports experience will also offer “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.”
A whole screen, just for sports. That sounds just as important as having a space for activities. While we love Rokus — the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is our pick for the best streaming device — we know that there’s one little problem here.
Analysis: Roku can’t fix what sports leagues and streaming services broke
Finding games that you can watch on the services you pay for is a great idea. At the same time, though, there’s a whole mess when it comes to regional sports networks.
Tom’s Guide global editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer learned about this the hard way when he cut the cord. He had the gall to want to follow Aaron Judge’s historic chase for Roger Maris’ home run record without cable, and without the uninspiring DirecTV Stream, which has a lock on the Yankees’ YES Network and many other regional sports networks. And since Judge broke that record on YES, Mark didn’t see it happen live.
DirecTV Stream, by the way, locks those regional sports networks behind its $90 per month tier — which is expensive enough to make you reconsider cutting the cord. And as long as that’s the way to follow the sports teams you love, it’s hard to envision a curated section of game listings truly fixing the problems with streaming live sports.