A Look at Local Now

Local Now, born five years ago as a service for local news, weather, sports and traffic, was relaunched this week as part of Byron Allen’s growing media empire, promising not only all of the above but also “movies, TV shows, documentaries, and channels geo-fenced to the user’s zip code.”

We decided to try out Local Now on Earth Day morning yesterday. We went to localnow.com and chose our city: New York. Actually, LocalNow already knew our city, so we just confirmed it. LocalNow must also have already known our zip code, since we weren’t asked to provide it.

Next, we saw the home screen, featuring a live video called “My Stream.” Well, not really live, since you can actually skip segments, a feature which came in handy (although you can’t skip if a commercial is on!).

First up was perky host Sasha Rionda (above and below) providing a rundown of feature stories that would be coming up during the day. Other segments included “Going Green” (“Start with small changes and help take care of our planet”) and four about Covid vaccines (one about a cool new app that helps you schedule a vaccine appointment).

We counted 32 segments in all, which would likely come out to an hour or so if you watched them sans skipping. Local segments included weather (Allen owns The Weather Channel), lottery results, traffic, and even some news (e.g. a report on local protests following the Chauvin conviction).

News 12 New York, Local Now

Then we visited Local Now’s Channels section, where we counted 77 choices, including News 12 New York and, for reasons unknown, a Cleveland news channel.

We discovered Pattrn, Allen’s channel dedicated to climate change, which was showing all-day live coverage of The White House Leaders Summit on Climate.

Pattrn, Local Now, Summit on Climate
(On Earth Day, Pattrn broadcast The White House Leaders Summit on Climate)

Also in the Local Now channel lineup:

Local Now also boasts 7,500 free on-demand titles:

  • Movies are divided into 45 categories, several pretty imaginative, such as “Before They Were Nominated for this Year’s Oscars” (13 films starring the likes of Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins), “Quirky Sports Movies” (e.g., Underdogs, Believe), “Do You LOVE Horses? So Do We!” (e.g., Harry & Snowman, Horse Crazy), “Dust Off Your Tin Foil Hat – It’s Time for Conspiracy Theories” (e.g., Branded, Haunted North America), “Groovy ’70s Flicks” (e.g., Killer Force, The Little Wild Bunch), and “Marriage is Complicated” (right).

Local Now is available at localnow,com and for Roku, Apple TV,  Fire TV, Android TV, Xfinity, Vizio, Samsung, Hisense, Android, and iOS.

There’s also a standalone channel on YouTube TV, Sling, Xumo, FuboTV, and Dish.

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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