Google TV may be preparing to launch around 50 free television channels, as previously reported. Code from the latest version of the Android TV app includes text saying: “Enjoy 50 channels of live TV without the need to subscribe, sign-up, or download”.
The app also includes a graphic featuring many of the channels that may soon be available on Google TV. They include ABC News Live, NBC News Now, CBC News, and a number of other channels that may have niche appeal, like a Teletubbies channel, or non-stop Deal or No Deal. There may be more to come but so far there is nothing that looks like serious competition to mainstream free to air or pay television services. Many of the Google TV channels are also available on other platforms, like Pluto TV and Philo.
Google TV is the new interface for Android TV on Chromecast, smart televisions, and available as an Android app. It provides browsing and recommendations across a large number of services and installed apps, including over 40 online video services available in the United States, although it varies by region.
Google is following television manufacturers that are adding free online video channels to their platforms. The Samsung TV Plus platform has over 200 free channels, and LG Channels has over 175. Other sets from Vizio and Roku also offer free online video channels.
Plans for Google to offer free channels were first reported in September 2021. Google originally included a live channels function in Android TV in 2014, intended to aggregate live programming from streaming apps and over-the-air broadcasters.