On Thursday, Sling TV announced the launch of a new, ad-supported streaming service called Sling Freestream. The service is targeted at users who want free streaming. It will provide access to over 210 channels and 41,000 on-demand titles – movies and TV shows – across multiple categories, including news, sports, crime, and home improvement.
Sling Freestream will provide access to many popular channels, including ESPN On Demand, CBS News, ABC News Live, and Architectural Digest. The service will also offer many popular on-demand content including Family Feud, Forensic Files, Hell’s Kitchen, Mystery Science Theater 3000, A Cook’s Tour, and The Walking Dead Universe.
Sling TV is not stopping with the available channels and content, however. Over the coming months, the company plans to increase its content offering to over 400 channels as well as over 42,000 on-demand titles. Furthermore, Sling TV intends to roll out Freeview Weekends to its free users. Ordinarily, Freeview Weekends is only available to paying customers, as it offers access to premium content from channels like Showtime and MGM+.
In a recent statement, Sling TV group president Gary Schanman explained the reasoning behind the service. He stated, "We know that consumers want free television, so this is a perfect extension of our brand. Our goal really is to create a new low barrier way for customers to access, high quality programming without spending money."
Schanman further said that Freestream is the company’s answer to evolving customer needs. In his words, "Sling Freestream is a great new service that helps meet consumers’ evolving needs. We know some people want free content, some may want a year-round paid subscription, while others may want to subscribe for certain events or shows. We have coupled world-class content with the option to easily flex in and out of premium pay TV, creating a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience."
Sling TV's announcement comes amidst a drop in subscribers for the Dish Network-owned company and a recent price hike for its live TV streaming service.
Furthermore, Sling Freestream is not Sling TV’s first foray into free streaming. If anything, it is an upgrade of the existing Sling Free streaming service that includes a name change, more free channels, and more free on-demand titles. However, the most significant change that exists between both services is the fact that Sling Freestream does not require user information in the guise of a user account for access.
At the moment, users can only access Sling Freestream via the Sling TV app on Roku devices. However, the service will eventually be available across other devices, including iOS devices, Android devices, Fire TV devices, Chromecast, and Xbox, as well as Samsung, Vizio, and LG smart TVs.