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The best channels on The Roku Channel

The Roku Channel premium subscriptions
(Image credit: Roku)

The Roku Channel is the free, ad-supported (AVOD) streaming channel offered by Roku, which includes thousands of hours of free movies and TV shows for viewers to watch. However, The Roku Channel also offers a variety of live TV channels and premium, ad-free channels (available through a subscription) for consumers to enjoy.

Roku is now the most popular streaming device in the U.S., and the second most popular across the globe. Roku users can access The Roku Channel through their Roku devices, online, on Amazon Fire TV, Samsung TVs and as a mobile app on an iPhone or other iOS and Android devices.

Get a breakdown of some of the best channels now available on The Roku Channel

AMC+

The AMC network has become one of the premiere destinations for top-notch TV shows in recent years, serving as the home for popular series like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and more.

AMC+ is the streaming version of the network and offers both new and classic AMC series, like Kevin Can F**K Himself, seasons of The Walking Dead, all seasons of Mad Men, Hell on Wheels and more. AMC+ also features classic movies that are not available for free on The Roku Channel, like The Silence of the Lambs, Scream, Blazing Saddles and more.

In addition, content is available from BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, IFC Films Unlimited, Shudder and Sundance Now.

AMC+ requires a monthly subscription that is priced at $8.99, which covers the removal of ads.

BET+ 

This streaming version of Black Entertainment Television offers many of the same great content that viewers can access on the traditional cable channel. In the lineup are a host of popular shows that include Martin, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Twenties from Lena Waithe and movies like Bad Boys and Bad Boys II, Karate Kid and Sleepless.

BET+ also has a slew of original shows and movies. Tyler Perry has produced multiple of these shows, as well as shooting a movie of a stage production of Madea’s Farewell.

A premium channel that requires a monthly subscription, Roku Channel users can start watching BET+ content for $9.99 per month.

Cinemax

Cinemax original series and the hit Hollywood movies that are available on the cable service can be streamed via The Roku Channel with this premium channel.

For $9.99 per month, Roku Channel users can watch fan favorite Cinemax series Banshee, Strike Back and The Knick, and access newer blockbusters like Good Boys, The Hunt, Ready or Not and indie favorites that include Ad Astra, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Queen & Slim.

Docurama 

If you’re a fan of documentaries, then the premium channel Docurama is right up your alley. The lineup of content on this channel includes award-winning documentaries from film and TV covering subjects from nature to true crime, and just about everything else in between.

A subscription to Docurama will run $4.99 per month.

Epix 

Epix has created a name for itself in recent years with its expansion into original series, which have resulted in noteworthy titles that include Pennyworth, Berlin Station, The Godfather of Harlem and Domina, to name a few. It is also home to major movies like The Avengers, Skyfall, Arrival, The Birdcage and more.

A Roku Channel premium subscription to the Epix channel costs $5.99 per month.

Fubo Sports Network

One of The Roku Channel’s live channels, the Fubo Sports Network, from the Fubo TV streaming service, offers live content for the rabid sports fan. Content includes live games, original content, sports movies and more. 

The Roku Channel also offers another free, live sports channel, Stadium.

Hallmark Movies Now

The Hallmark Channel is a destination for many for its feel good stories, which are available to access on The Roku Channel via a premium subscription. For $5.99 per month, viewers can watch Hallmark original series and movies. This includes the popular Hallmark Christmas movies, which means you can be in the holiday spirit all year round. 

IFC Films Unlimited

IFC Film has brought many indie titles to film fans over the years, a great many of which are available to watch on the IFC Films Unlimited premium channel. IFC Films that include Blue Is the Warmest Color, The Salvation, Sleeping With Other People, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, The Babadook and plenty more can be added to your streaming lineup for $5.99 per month.

IFC Film Unlimited titles can also be accessed as part of the AMC+ bundle.

Lifetime Movie Club

Lifetime movies are a TV staple, bringing to life many real life and fictional stories that range from drama to romance to suspense and teen issues. The premium channel rotates in new movies every week to keep the content fresh. A subscription to the Lifetime Movie Club channel is priced at $3.99 per month.  

Newsy

Keep up with all the latest news with a live channel from Newsy. Newsy offers what it calls “concise, unbiased video news and analysis” for the top stories from around the world. 

Shout! Factory TV

If you’re tired of the usual fair on TV these days, Shout! Factory TV offers a number of cult classics all in one place. Classic TV series like The Carol Burnett Show, Car 54 Where Are You? and even The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson are available to watch, as are cult movies Machine Gun Kelly and Holy Motors.

Viewers can start watching what Shout! Factory TV has to offer for $2.99 per month.

Showtime

Showtime is right up there with HBO when it comes to premium cable content, and The Roku Channel is offering access to its vast library for $10.99 per month. 

With this premium subscription, users will be able to catch up on Showtime original series Dexter, Billions, City on a Hill, The Chi, Shameless and The Good Lord Bird, and be able to watch popular movies like Django Unchained, Top Gun, Hustlers, Ex Machina, the Twilight series and more.

Shudder

Shudder is the horror-centric streaming channel offering shows and movies to satisfy any fan of the horror, thriller or suspense genres. Available titles include A Discovery of Witches, Mandy, Halloween, Creepshow, Night of the Living Dead and the Shudder original movie, Hunted.

The Shudder channel is available for $5.99 per month, or it is included in the AMC+ bundle.

Starz 

Starz is the home of popular fantasy series Outlander as well as the brand new series Blindspotting, and the Starz premium channel makes them, and more, available on The Roku Channel.

In addition to those previously mentioned shows, Starz originals like The Girlfriend Experience and Spartacus are available through channel, as are classic TV titles like The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son and Miami Vice, and big Hollywood movies such as Jumanji: The Next Level, Bad Boys for Life, Titanic and Heat.

A Starz channel subscription costs $8.99 per month.

Sundance Now

Featuring TV shows and independent films from all over the world, Sundance Now has plenty to discover. Get your drama in The Little Drummer Girl or Sundance Now original The Bureau, or your comedy via State of the Union or Motherland.

The Sundance Now channel is available for $6.99 per month. It is also included as part of the AMC+ bundle.

Weather Nation 

It’s important to keep up with the weather, and The Roku Channel has its own free, live channel to do just that in Weather Nation. The 24/7 channel covers breaking weather news, hyper-local weather, provides satellite/radar maps and regional and national weather news. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.