In this step-by-step guide, we will explain how to add and stream WGN on Roku.
WGN-TV or WGN Channel 9 is a local television channel based in Chicago, Illinois. It’s an independent station owned and operated by the Nexstar Media Group. The network doesn’t have a broader reach in the United States outside of its home market, Chicago.
The channel’s programming primarily consists of news reports and weather updates, but WGN does broadcast a few hours of syndicated shows. It also airs lifestyle, tourism, cultural programs, and talk shows on various topics during the weekdays.
Many of you are here probably because you can’t get WGN on your Roku, unlike other cable and satellite channels. In fact, the station did have its official “WGN-TV Chicago” Roku channel in the Channel Store, but it got removed quite a while ago.
Despite that, there still are a few options to stream the WGN on Roku, and this guide will walk you through every one of them. Surprisingly, you won’t even have to log in with your TV credentials!
How to Watch WGN on Roku via Locast?
Locast is a legitimate, non-profit live TV streaming service that retransmits aerial broadcasts over the internet across 20+ markets in the United States. Put simply, it allows users to stream over-the-air television stations live on supported devices.
Fortunately, Locast is available on Roku devices, and the service covers OTA broadcasts within the Chicago market. If you are in WGN’s coverage area, you can stream it on your Roku device alongside several other over-the-air channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, CW, Unimas, etc.
Setting up Locast on Roku is quite simple. Plus, you get to enjoy WGN and other free-to-air broadcasts at absolutely no cost, as Locast is a non-profit organization. However, you may donate a minimum of $5 every month to support their work and get rid of the recurring donation requests.
Guide to Add Locast to Roku
Locast is officially available on the Channel Store, so adding it is pretty much effortless. Go to the Locast Channel Store page, click Add channel, and log into your Roku account. After a few moments, the Locast channel will get added to the Roku device(s) linked to your account.
If you wish to add Locast to your Roku the traditional way, use the following steps:
- Start by going to the Roku Home screen if you aren’t already there.
- Next, select Streaming Channel in the options to open the built-in Channel Store.
- Now scroll down again and select Search Channels to bring up the search menu.
- Enter “Locast” in the field using the on-screen keyboard, then move to the results pane and choose the org channel.
- Click Add channel on the channel info screen and wait for it to get added to your Roku.
(Depending on your setup, you might have to enter your Roku account PIN to add the channel.)
- Once Locast is added successfully, click OK to close the dialog box.
You can now press the Home button on the remote to return to the Roku Home screen. The Locast.org channel tile should appear at the bottom of your channel list.
If you would like to move it to the upper channel row, press the Star (✱) button on the remote with the channel highlighted, and then click Move channel. After that, you can use the directional pad to change its position in the list.
Guide to Activate Locast on Roku
Locast is a free live TV streaming service, but it requires users to register for an account. Here’s how to do that and activate the Locast channel on Roku:
- First, open Locast from your channel list on the Roku Home screen. An activation screen will welcome you. Leave it as it is.
- Visit www.locast.org from your web browser and click Activate at the top options bar.
- Now click the Create Account link under the “Login” button, followed by registering for an account with your email address and a unique password.
- Check your inbox for a verification mail from Locast and verify your email address.
- Once that’s done, go back to the Locast webpage and submit the activation code shown on your Roku screen.
Soon after that, the activation screen on the Locast Roku channel should disappear. It means you have successfully logged in with your newly created Locast account.
Watch WGN on Roku via Locast
Upon successful activation, the Locast Roku channel will automatically retrieve your geolocation details. If you happen to be in one of Locast’s serviceable markets, the list of available OTA channels should appear under the LiveTV Guide section.
Provided that you live in Chicago or WGN’s coverage area, you should see 9.1 WGN in the channel guide. All you have to do is choose the channel using your remote and click the Watch Now option. In that case, you can also stream WGN’s affiliate stations: Antenna TV (9.2), Court TV (9.3), and TBD (9.4).
If the channel guide is blank, go to the Cities section from the top navigation bar and select your city. You can also enable closed captions from the Settings.
Watch WGN on Roku via OTT Services
Unfortunately, WGN-TV isn’t available on any over-the-top live TV streaming services, even though most of them provide access to local or regional television stations.
However, if you are looking for the WGN America (now known as NewsNation) channel that’s aired nationwide in the United States, then you can sign up for one of the following providers:
- AT&T TV: NewsNation is available on AT&T TV’s Choice, Ultimate, and Premier packages. Cloud DVR space, simultaneous screens, and other benefits vary between the plans.
- FuboTV: Its Starter and Elite plans include NewsNation (WGN America), apart from over ten other local and national news channels. Cloud DVR and family sharing benefits are upgradable with add-ons.
- Hulu with Live TV: Hulu’s only live TV package covers NewsNation and 10+ other news channels. Additional features include Hulu’s on-demand library, fifty hours of DVR, and up to two concurrent streams (upgradable).
- Sling TV: Neither Sling Blue nor the Sling Orange plan covers the NewsNation channel. Instead, you need the News Extra add-on to go with one of the base plans for streaming NewsNation.
- Vidgo: It’s one of the newest OTT live TV services offering over 80 channels at an affordable price. Vidgo’s English channel lineup does have NewsNation.
- Youtube TV: Its subscription plan gets you 85+ channels, including NewsNation and a dozen other local/national networks. You can also watch NewsNation’s news and entertainment programs on-demand from YouTube TV’s catch-up library.
All the above services offer contract-free plans, so you can choose to pay for your subscription every month and cancel it whenever you want. Fortunately, every one of them officially supports Roku players and TVs. On top of that, you can also use your OTT subscription to log into dozens of TV Everywhere apps or channels.
Watch WGN on Roku via YouTube
If you aren’t interested in streaming WGN live on Roku, the simplest way to stay updated with the latest news reports from the station is to visit the WGN News channel on YouTube.
In case you didn’t know, the channel uploads short news clips, full-length interviews, weather updates, and small bits of content from other WGN programs several times a day. You can access all of it on-demand without paying a subscription fee.
If you signed into YouTube on your Roku device, simply subscribe to the WGN News YouTube channel. After that, the recently uploaded videos from the channel will automatically begin to appear in your “Subscriptions” menu.
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This guide shows some of the most viable ways you can stream WGN on Roku. If you have trouble adding and activating Locast on your Roku device, you may find our in-depth instructions handy.
All the channels/services we have mentioned in this guide are available on the Roku Channel Store. They work flawlessly on every Roku streaming player and TV currently available on the market, and even some older models.
If you manage to stream WGN on your Roku device in some other way, tell us how you did it in the comments below. Perhaps we can add it to this guide for others to try.