Google TV to add 50 free, live TV channels in coming update

Mike Wheatley

The Google TV operating system could soon add up to 50 free, ad-supported live TV channels, putting it in direct competition with rival operating systems such as Samsung’s Tizen.


A list of 50 channels was recently spotted in the beta codebase of the Android TV launched app for Android devices. The code, which was discovered by 9to5Google, refers to “50 channels of live TV without the need to subscribe, sign-up or download” that will be accessible on every Android and Google TV device. The channels are said to cover news, sports, movies and TV shows, the report adds.

Google TV does already support range of live TV apps, such as Philo, Pluto TV and YouTube TV. However, these apps must be downloaded first, before viewers can access their content. The addition of 50 free live channels directly into Google TV would make them viewable without the need to install any new apps.

Google TV is the next iteration of Android TV, providing a more modern look with a sleek interface that integrates better search and makes content more visible. It also has additional features not found in Android TV, such as watchlists. Google TV first appeared in 2020 on the latest Chromecast device and has since made its way to TVs sold by Sony and TCL, among others. It’s said that Google is now looking to upgrade as many devices as possible from Android TV to Google TV.

In recent months Google has made things a little more confusing though.. For instance, the Google Play Movies and TV app has been replaced by the “Google TV app” on new smartphones and tablet devices. The app is similar to the Google TV experience found on TVs and streaming devices, only it runs as an application atop of Android, rather than as a full operating system instead of Android.

With regard to the 50 live and free channels Google TV will soon gain access too, these include ABC News Live, America’s Test Kitchen, ChiveTV, Hallmark Movies & More, Nature Vision, NBC News Now, Power Nation, Toon Goggles, USA Today and World Poker Tour. It’s a fairly impressive list, though not nearly as good as Samsung TV Plus, which boasts more than 200 live TV channels that can be accessed for free.

Even so, it’s an encouraging start by Google, which is going head to head with multiple rivals in the TV content stakes. As well as Samsung, the likes of Apple, Amazon and LG are all scrambling to boost the content options available on their own TV platforms, and so it makes sense for Google to do the same.