The free, ad-supported Roku Channel is now available in the U.K.

Mike Wheatley

Roku's free, ad-supported TV streaming channel has launched in the U.K. this week, providing access to thousands of documentaries, films and TV shows for anyone who owns a Roku streaming device or TV, or a Now TV device or Sky Q box.


The Roku Channel, which was first launched in the U.S. in 2017, is totally free and doesn’t require users to subscribe, pay any fees, or even login. Instead, the channel is supported entirely by adverts, so users can expect around 8 minutes of these for each hour of viewing. However, there is a cap that ensures the same ad won’t appear more than once each hour.

Ads aside, what does the Roku Channel have in store, and is it worth it? Well, in the U.K., viewers will be able to access a catalogue of more than 10,000 films and TV episodes. Some of the headline movies include The Wicker Man and Les Miserables, while popular British TV series such as Homes Under the Hammer, Skins and Fifth Gear also seem worth a shout. Roku also offers a ‘Kids & Family’ section that’s packed with child-friendly content and features fewer advertisements, as well as ‘Featured’ and ‘Recommended” categories.

There are also editorial collections by Roku that help to keep viewers informed of which titles will be removed from the platform soon, as well as those titles that are new.

Roku TV updates its free movie catalogue on a monthly basis too, so there should always be something new to watch. The TV shows tend to stay in the catalogue for much longer than this, however.

Roku said the new channel has over 40 content partners, including major Hollywood studios such as Sony Pictures Television and Lionsgate. It’s expecting to add more partners over time.

The launch of the Roku Channel in the U.K. comes just a couple of weeks after the company announced an update to its streaming player operating system, bringing enhanced voice controls, improved search capabilities, and faster boot up times.