WISC, Roku Launch 'New Distribution Channel'

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Interesting play from WISC Madison and Roku: WISC site Channel3000.com has partnered with the web streaming platform to enable viewers to watch the station’s web content on their TVs. Viewers with the Roku player–which Roku estimates is in the tens of thousands in Wisconsin–stream the content onto their sets.

“The Roku Channel Store turns the Roku player into the world’s first open platform designed specifically for the TV,” said Roku founder/CEO Anthony Wood. “Local content producers like WISC can deliver their online video directly to consumers without having to go exclusively through cable operators and satellite networks providing an entirely new distribution channel overnight.”

WISC is a CBS affiliate, and its channel3000.com is a pretty progressive site. A few years ago, WISC hired Wisconsin’s disgraced former Senate Majority Leader to host a political talk show on the site.

“Our new Roku channel will extend the WISC-TV over-the-air brand and our Channel3000.com brand by making it easy to view our web video on television,” said Brian Burns, v.p. and COO of WISC parent Morgan Murphy Media. “Viewers want easy access to our local content through non-traditional means and they want to watch it in the comfort of their living room on their big screen TV. Establishing this partnership with Roku will be a major win for all our non-traditional viewers”

Burns says the group hopes to launch Roku channels at its stations in La Crosse and Spokane.