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Sky Q, Roku and NOW TV viewers get 30 brand-new shows to binge for free TODAY

Short on something to watch today? Don’t worry, there’s very good news for Sky Q, NOW (née NOW TV), and Roku set-top box owners as a swathe of all-new content has landed today for free. In total, 30 new shows will be available to watch – and almost all have never been seen on UK television before. This truckload of new telly is all thanks to The Roku Channel, which is broadcasting 30 new original shows from May 20 to celebrate World Streaming Day.

Roku says that the line-up features an array of star-studded content, including Emmy-award winning shows and entertaining scripted series. Die Hart, featuring Kevin Hart, Chrissy’s Court, featuring Chrissy Teigan and Cup of Joe, featuring Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner. These Roku Originals will be added to the expansive lineup of more than 25,000 free movies and shows that are already available on the platform.

The Roku Channel, which is available on all Roku-branded set-top boxes and Roku-powered Smart TVs by default, can also be found in the My Apps menu of the Sky Q box. NOW also leverages Roku hardware for its NOW-branded streaming boxes and sticks, so you’ll be able to find a shortcut to launch The Roku Channel on there too!

While the Roku Channel has been running for a little while, today marks the first time new, never-before-seen shows have aired on the channel, which is supported by advertising to make it free to tune in.

Speaking about the launch of the 30 new shows, Sweta Patel, Vice President of Engagement Growth Marketing, Roku said: “The launch of Roku Originals will bring incredible, premium entertainment that has breadth, depth and diversity to the millions of streamers who regularly visit The Roku Channel and to many new viewers who may not even have a Roku device – and it’s all available for free. We’ve created a fantastic user experience to deliver exclusive, original content that’s accessible everywhere The Roku Channel is streamed.”

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A number of the new shows were acquired by Roku after US-only streaming service Quibi folded. For those who don’t know, Quibi was a short-lived streaming service launched by ex-Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg. It was targeted at a younger audience than the likes of Prime Video and Netflix, which have invested in original feature films and lavishly-produced documentary and drama series. Quibi was designed to offer short 10-minute episodes, indeed the name itself stems from this idea of “quick bites” of content. But unlike YouTube videos from independent creators, Quibi roped-in some serious star power and award-winning writers.

The smartphone app, which was designed to view the shows in portrait orientation – not landscape, like almost every other streaming service on the market, was shuttered back in December 2020 after the initial $1.75 billion from investors dried up. With some 3.5 million subscribers, the service wasn’t seen as a success.

However, the content was generally well-received – and even scooped up some Emmys. And so, despite the flaws in the original app (Quibi did try to add the ability to Cast to a Chromecast, with dedicated Apple TV, Fire TV and Google TV apps coming in late 2020 to try to tempt subscribers who might’ve been put off my the portrait-only viewing experience on their smartphone) more people will now be able to tune-in.

Roku announced earlier this year that it now boasted some 50 million viewers worldwide. It offers a number of set-top box, soundbars, and HDMI dongles to bring access to its software and library of streaming apps. That’s a pretty sizeable audience now able to stream the best of Quibi’s output for free.

Here’s a full list of the first batch of shows coming to The Roku Channel…

FreeRayshawn • About Face • Bad Ideas with Adam Devine • Barkitechture • Big Rad Wolf • Blackballed • Centerpiece • Chrissy’s Court • Cup of Joe • Die Hart • Dishmantled • Dummy • Fight Like a Girl •Flipped • The Fugitive • Gayme Show • Iron Sharpens Iron • Last Looks • Let’s Roll with Tony Greenhand • Most Dangerous Game • Murder House Flip • Murder Unboxed • Nightgowns • Prodigy • Punk’d • Reno 911! • Royalties • Shape of Pasta • Thanks a Million • You Ain’t Got These

Along with the launch of these Roku originals, there’s more content coming to Sky users. The satellite TV firm has just launched the fat-burning Peloton app on its Sky Q box and you don’t need any fancy equipment to get a little fitter. The Peloton service features live classes which you can join straight from your living room. Sessions including yoga, running, cardio, bootcamp, stretching, and more.

Of course, because it’s part of Sky Q, Peloton subscribers will be able to tune-in to the latest on-demand and live classes via their TVs. If you fancy giving it a try the Peloton service is available in the My Apps menu on Sky Q, but the quickest way to navigate to the app is to simply say “Peloton” into your Sky Q voice remote to open the app. You can also say “fitness” or “Let’s get Physical” to discover an entire fitness destination page.

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