Roku will stream live Formula E races for free

Paramount+ will also air some races at at the same time as CBS.

Al Sermeno-USA TODAY Sports

Roku just made its first live sports deal, and it may be welcome news if you're a motorsports fan. The company has struck a deal to stream 11 Formula E races for free through The Roku Channel, beginning with the next season. You'll also find on-demand videos like race previews, replays and the "Unplugged" documentary. The channel is available through Roku hardware, the web and dedicated mobile apps.

This isn't strictly an exclusive. Paramount+ will simulcast five Formula E races alongside CBS. The offering will be available starting in January 2024. Formula E media chief Aarti Dabas sees both the Roku and Paramount+ deals as ways to "dramatically increase" exposure to the race series, particularly in the US.

This isn't on par with Formula 1 or other major sports deals. However, it significantly expands the range of content available through Roku's ad-supported service. The Roku Channel initially launched with a focus older movies and shows, but has since added premium subscriptions, originals and live TV. Now, it has a chance to attract sports fans.

There's plenty of pressure to grow. Numerous other streaming services have their own sports exclusives. Amazon Prime Video streams a limited number of NFL games, while Apple has Friday Night Baseball and MLS Season Pass. Paramount+ already has multiple soccer exclusives. Moreover, ad-supported channels are reaching more platforms — Amazon recently launched its own free TV for Fire devices. Formula E could sustain interest in Roku's hardware and services, especially for viewers who crave live content.