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Roku Channel Launches Free Spanish-Language Streaming Section

A Roku 4K and its remote
Roku's streaming devices are among the most popular in the US. 
Sarah Tew/CNET

What's happening

The Roku Channel is adding a centralized hub for all kinds of Spanish-language programming to stream.

Why it matters

Spanish speakers will have a simpler time finding streaming content for them.

Roku on Monday launched a Spanish-language section in The Roku Channel, its free ad-supported hub for streaming video.

Calling the new offering Espacio Latino, Roku said the section is a centralized place to stream thousands of hours of free programming in Spanish, including popular movies, TV shows telenovelas, news and kids content. Some of the Spanish-language programming will be original and exclusive, and Espacio Latino will also include popular English titles dubbed and subtitled in Spanish, Roku said. 

The section, which is available in the US, will also include options to sign up for paid Spanish-language streaming subscriptions, too. 

Ashley Hovey, The Roku Channel's head of ad-supported video, said the launch was a step forward in Roku's efforts to create a unified Spanish-language experience for millions of streamers. 

Roku is one of the most popular lines of streaming-TV devices in the US, and The Roku Channel has emerged as one of the company's most important businesses, as Roku has morphed from a company that makes money from selling hardware to one that largely generates its revenue from advertising. With offerings that cater to Spanish-language speakers, Roku is aiming for a group likely to already be cordcutters.  

Roku internal data show Spanish-language viewing households who use The Roku Channel tune into it three or more days per week, and that nearly 70% of them told Roku that they don't have a pay TV when they first activated their accounts, according to the company. 

Espacio Latino aggregates video a variety of Spanish-language programmers. Roku is adding content from new partners including NBCUniversal Telemundo, Hemisphere Media Group, Cisneros Media, Canela.TV, The Weather Channel en Español and Eurochannel. Selections from existing partners will be there too, including programming from Lionsgate, Cinedigm, A+E Networks, BBC Studios, Sony Pictures Television, Film Movement, Pantaya, EstrellaTV, TelevisaUnivision, beIN SPORTS and others. 

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