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).
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.
Also in the Local Now channel lineup:
- Established 24/7 channels like Savvy Screener favorites Shout Factory TV, MST3K, Johnny Carson TV, Buzzr (game shows), Dove Channel (family) and three Revry (LGBTQ) channels; Savvy Screener non-favorites like NewsMax and One America News’ OAN Encore; and others in the genres of news (Black News Channel, Newsy), trial coverage (Court TV, Law&Crime), business (Yahoo! Finance, Bloomberg, Cheddar), sports (Whistle TV, Fight Network, Impact Wrestling, SportsGrid) and more.
- Channels programmed by Local 24 itself like Adrenaline Rush (action/adventure movies), Zen and Fireside (chill and relaxation), Fear This! (horror/thriller movies), Ha! That’s Funny (comedy movies), Local Now Sports, Weather Gone Viral, Highway Thru Hell, Local Now Music, Romantique (romance movies) and Local Now Discover (food and travel content), which seemed to be the default channel
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).
- Shows are divided into only eight categories, including Local Now originals like Body & Mind Nutrition and Cocktail Recipes, dramas like Titanic: Blood and Steel and Flash Gordon: A Modern Space Opera, kids’ shows like Speed Racer: The Next Generation and Popular Mechanics for Kids, and classics like Flash Gordon (the ’50s version this time) and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
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.
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