Sling TV is making it easier to watch TV shows and movies without paying a penny. The company announced the launch of Sling Freestream, its advertising-supported streaming television service (FAST).
Freestream joins the ranks of the best free streaming services, like Amazon's Freevee, Pluto and Tubi. Sling Freestream is a rebranding and upgrade of Sling Free. It provides access to more than 210 channels and 41,000 on-demand titles entirely for free, without users needing to enter any payment or credit card information.
The new service is now available through the Sling app on all Roku devices. It will roll out to all compatible devices throughout the coming months.
Popular channels and titles include ABC News Live, Family Feud, ESPN on Demand, FilmRise, Hell's Kitchen, Forensic Files, Rick Steves Europe, The Walking Dead Universe and VH1 I Love Reality. International programming is also available in seven languages.
Sling Freestream comes at a time when monthly streaming entertainment bills are rising. According to a report by J.D. Power (opens in new tab), 60% of streaming households in the U.S. now subscribe to four or more streaming services. The average monthly bill is $54.
As consumers tighten their budgets, FAST services have become an important business for entertainment companies. In December, Fox said that Tubi had reached its highest viewership ever. Warner Bros. Discovery removed several major titles from HBO Max, including Westworld, and sold their streaming rights to Roku. Even Netflix is ruminating on adding a FAST option, with co-CEO Ted Sarandos telling investors they are "keeping an eye" on it.
Additionally, Freestream is clearly a way of upselling Sling's live-TV streaming service, one of our top choices among the best cable TV alternatives, as well as premium add-ons like AMC Plus, Discovery Plus and Showtime.
“Sling Freestream is a great new service that helps meet consumers’ evolving needs,” said Gary Schanman, group president, SLING TV. “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.”