Saturday, May 20, 2023

Freestream (Sling TV free) has gotten larger

For a long time, when mentioning free ad supported television (FAST) services, the first ones always mentioned were Pluto TV, Xumo, and Tubi. Those were never the only ones, but those were the biggest ones, the ones with the most free streaming channels.

Today, that's not so much the case anymore. There are more services that have hundreds of live channels, including Plex and Sling TV.

Plex is newer to the FAST game, but Sling TV has been doing it for a bit. They were just a smaller player insofar as free streaming was concerned.

Not any more. I read a news article recently that said that Freestream (what Sling TV calls their free tier) offers 370 such channels. That surprised me somewhat, even though I knew that Freestream already had over 300.

It's from an older way of thinking. Sling TV's free offerings were always less than the other, larger players in the FAST market. But when they branded the free tier as Freestream, they had expanded their number to over 300. Today, it's at 366. That's how many I counted. Cord Cutters News says over 370, but I think they're counting some that are simply links to on-demand catalogs rather than actual live streaming channels:

Sling TV's new free advertising-supported streaming television service now offers more than 370 channels after these new channels have been added and 41,000 on-demand titles. This makes it one of the largest free streaming services for cord cutters when looking at the number of free live channels.

Back when Sling TV topped 330 channels, its President released a statement. "This milestone is just the beginning of what we have in store for Sling Freestream," said Gary Schanman, Group President, Sling TV. "We are charging full steam ahead to deliver unparalleled free live sports, news and entertainment for consumers to watch popular games, catch up on the latest headlines or enjoy award-winning TV shows, all for free."

I trust my count. Whether my count or CCN's count is correct, it's still a lot. The only thing I really don't like about Freestream is how it's accessed. They call it "Freestream" but you launch the Sling TV app to access it. I know they're promoting their paid service, but it just seems counter intuitive to me.

Regardless, it's a good service worth checking out. My Streaming Life doesn't include its use, at least not a lot. That is, unless I see an article about it, in which case I'll check it out and watch it for a bit. It's worth a look, and should be considered on par with Pluto TV, Xumo Play, and Tubi.

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