Chromecasts and other Google TV-powered devices will be able to give users access to free TV channels in the future. According to Protocol, Google was talking to ad-supported free TV streaming providers about adding their channels to its Smart TV platform. These channels often have a similar feel to traditional TV and their programs will be interrupted by commercial breaks.
The protocol says Chromecast users can browse the live channels available to them through a dedicated menu similar to YouTube TV. Meanwhile, smart TVs running the platform can show the free channels along with other wireless programming that can be accessed with an antenna. The publication says it is similar to how companies like Samsung present free TV offerings on their own platforms. Samsung’s free TV service became so popular that other companies (including Roku and Amazon) also began giving their customers access to hundreds of free channels.
The addition of linear programming to Google TV could help make Chromecasts and Smart TVs running the operating system a more attractive option. Google could officially launch free streaming channels soon, though it could also wait to announce the feature until its Smart TV partners are also ready to do so next year. The protocol also says that while it’s unclear which channels are coming to the platform at this time, Google will likely strike deals that give it access to “dozens of free channels” at a time.