Roku adds WatchESPN and Watch Disney channels

The new apps significantly bolster Roku's live TV offerings, although they require authentication from an affiliated cable TV provider.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku recently passed the 1,000-channel mark and that list is about to get even longer.

Roku announced today that WatchESPN, Watch Disney, Watch Disney Junior, and Watch Disney XD will be added to the company's streaming boxes. It's a bit of catchup for the company, as the same collection of apps were added to its main competitor , the Apple TV, earlier this year .

The new apps bolster Roku's live video offerings, as WatchESPN offers access to live TV from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN 3, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN News, plus additional on-demand content; Watch Disney also lets you watch what's playing live on the Disney Channel, in addition to on-demand content.

On the other hand, the new slate of apps doesn't have much to offer cord-cutters, as the apps require authentication with an affiliated cable provider to access content. WatchESPN is available to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon Fios TV, Comcast's Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision's Optimum TV, Cox, AT&T U-verse TV, Charter and Google Fiber subscribers, and "coming soon" to NRTC subscribers. The Watch Disney channels are available to providers for the Watch Disney services, including Verizon Fios TV, Comcast's Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision's Optimum TV, Cox, AT&T U-verse TV, Charter and Google Fiber subscribers, and also "coming soon" to NRTC subscribers.

According to Roku, WatchESPN will be available starting today, while the Disney channels will be added later this month.

 

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