Virtual Streaming TV/Video Apps Add Old-Style Linear TV Content

Virtual streaming TV and app providers keep adding new live, linear TV networks and programming.

For example, Tubi, the mostly on-demand ad-supported service, has added 80 live local news feeds and will carry nearly 100 local station feeds in 58 designated market areas this year.

Looking at broader streaming TV app/network distributors, Roku just added 13 full live, linear TV channels, now totaling 165.

If you are a traditional pay TV subscriber, where services typically offer around 200 to 300 live, linear TV channels, you might think: Can I get all this for free?

Well, maybe. But perhaps many of these new live, linear TV networks on Tubi or Roku aren’t big-time TV networks/programming. Many might be super-niche TV networks.

Consider Roku’s latest TV networks additions: Baby Shark, Bloomberg Quicktake, Cine Romantico, Kocowa Classic, Loop 80s; Loop Country, CineVault Westerns and Hallmark Movies & More.



This adds to a list that already includes: ABC News Live, beIN Sports Xtra, Toon Googles, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, and AFV Español.

Yes, you get it. Not too many major TV networks/channels want to make deals with a growing big distributor, where you have to surrender large pieces of your ad inventory. In addition, TV networks may run into issues with their traditional pay TV service deals.

But, of course, any live, linear TV networks may not be top of mind these days. The bigger draw comes from fancy, popular new streaming platforms -- Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+ and Peacock -- which cost anywhere from $4.99 to $14.99 a month.

The key here is to offer what users perceived as their “base” home entertainment: traditional TV networks and local TV stations. That's in addition to high-profile, new premium streaming platforms.

Cord-cutting will continue to eat into the TV ecosystem. Will Roku, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, Tubi and others give consumers a brand that can do it all?

Maybe the Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV will find a way to sign up bigger linear TV content. Modern TV consumers want to have their cake and eat it, too. Then they want another slice. And perhaps a chocolate bar to finish things off.

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