Chromecasts and other devices powered by Google TV might give users access to free television channels in the future. According to Protocol, Google has been in talks with free, ad-supported streaming television providers about the possibility of adding their channels to its innovative TV platform. Those channels typically have a similar feel to traditional TV, and its shows will be interrupted by commercial breaks.
Protocol says Chromecast users might browse live channels available to them through a dedicated menu similar to YouTube TV. Meanwhile, smart TVs powered by the platform might show the free media alongside another over-the-air programming that can be accessed with an antenna. The publication says that’s similar to how companies like Samsung present free TV offerings on their own platforms. Samsung’s free TV service has become so popular, other companies (including Roku and Amazon) started giving their customers access to hundreds of free channels, as well.
The addition of linear programming to Google TV could help make Chromecasts and smart TVs powered by the operating system a more enticing option for cord-cutters. Google could officially launch free streaming channels this fall, though it could also wait to announce the feature until its innovative TV partners are also ready to do so next year. The protocol also says that while it’s unclear what channels are making their way to the platform, Google will likely strike deals that will give it access to “dozens of free channels” all at once.