NewsON, the mobile and Roku app company that connects TV viewers to local news from 175 stations around the country, this week announced a major expansion of its over-the-top offering to stream those newscasts directly to desktop and laptop computers.
“We are announcing a new website product that will allow us to reach people at work on their computers,” says NewsOn CEO Louis Gump.
The website makes available for free up to 10 live news streams at a time from participating stations to users.
A visitor to the site can choose from the 10, which are presented based on their geographical proximity to the visitor, or search for distant stations they wish to watch.
The website, announced to coincide with the opening of CES 2017 in Las Vegas where the NewsON mobile app is in the running for an award, has been in the works for the past six months, says Gump.
“Some local stations have seven or more hours of live, local content per day,” says Gump. “That is valuable on a normal news day, but on a really big breaking news day that local coverage is invaluable.”
Gump points to the November 2016 wildfires in East Tennessee as an example of the power of NewsON.
Where network and cable news may have covered the fires periodically throughout the day, local stations in the affected area did much more extensive fire coverage. With the NewsON mobile or Roku app, users were alerted to the wildfires and then could watch the local breaking coverage.
The new NewsON website will give people the same type of access to local coverage on their computers, says Gump.
The new NewsON website will stream HLS encoded video to any “fairly current laptop or desktop” regardless of whether it’s a Mac or PC, says Gump. Chrome, Explorer, Safari, Firefox and other popular web browsers are supported.
The 175 stations currently available via NewsOn are owned by 14 broadcasters in 110 markets covering 84% of the U.S. population, says Gump.