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Apple TV Adds New Channels, Free ABC News

Credit: ABC News

(Image credit: ABC News)

If you've held on to your Apple TV, eschewing newer media streaming hubs like Google's Chromecast and Amazon's Fire TV, you've got a few new channels to tune into. Apple TV owners can now stream content from ABC News, PBS Kids, Willow TV and AOL On, as well as take advantage of a revamped Flickr app.

While the existing WatchABC Apple TV app requires a cable subscription, the new ABC News app will provide both live and on-demand content at no cost. The app will feature access to nine local ABC news stations at launch, covering markets like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Viewers can watch original ABC shows like "Good Morning America" and "20/20," and sift through more than 50 years worth of historical ABC News footage.

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PBS Kids is another free addition, although you'll have to activate the channel online before watching it on your Apple TV. As its name suggests, this app differentiates itself from the current PBS Apple TV app by focusing on children's content.

Apple TV has also added the AOL On app, which is an ad-supported service that offers curated news and entertainment content as well as AOL's original TV shows like biographical documentary "So Much More" and tech program "HardWired."

Sports fans can check out the new app for Willow TV, which is the official U.S. provider for cricket events. A $14.99 monthly subscription gives you access to live games, multiple video sources and on-demand replays and highlights. 

Lastly, the Apple TV Flickr app has gotten a nice overhaul, touting better search functionality and a robust Explore interface for browsing different types of photos.

Apple TV has taken a backseat to Apple's smartphones, tablets and notebooks as of late, but it has the potential to become a solid competitor to popular streaming devices like the Roku 3 and Google Chromecast. The iPhone maker is rumored to launch a new version of its set-top box sometime soon, which could pack more channels, rich gaming integration, Siri voice search and a built-in cable tuner. Apple already has its plate full this year with the expected launches of the iWatch and iPhone 6 all but imminent, but we don't expect the hardware giant to stay quiet on the TV front for too long. 

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Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored and was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.