Google TV now offers more than 800 free live TV channels, but only in the U.S.

Mike Wheatley

Google has said that it’s now offering access to more than 800 free but ad-supported linear TV channels in the U.S. They can be accessed by televisions running the Google TV operating system, in the “Live” tab on its menu.


The company said it has significantly boosted the number of free channels it offers by partnering with Plex, Tubi and Haystack News, adding to an existing library that already included free offerings from Pluto TV. They’ll be accessible on all Google TV devices from this week, the company said.

“Today, we’re introducing a new live TV experience that lets you browse more than 800 free TV channels across multiple providers, organized in one easy-to-use guide right in the Live tab,” said Google TV Product Manager Nick Staubach.

There are some big channels included in the new list, such as the news networks NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX, and others that broadcast in up to ten different languages. Google said there are also a bunch of dedicated movie channels, and users can pin their favourite ones to the top of the live TV guide for easier access.

In addition, Google’s Live TV tab also lists subscription services such as YouTube TV and Sling TV, but these too are only available to U.S. customers.

While the new channels are exclusive to Google TV device owners for now, Google promised that the Live TV tab will soon be coming to certain, “eligible” Android TV devices, without explaining what those will be. Most likely, it will be restricted to devices running a relatively recent version of Android TV, which is in any case slowly being phased out in favour of Google TV.

Devices that run Google TV include the most recent Chromecast dongles, and various models sold by Sony, TCL, Hisense and Philips. Android TV can be found on older models from those brands, as well as many cheaper TV brands, and the Nvidia Shield set-top box.