Google Chromecast with Google TV remote in hand

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • Google could soon introduce free streaming channels to its Chromecast devices.
  • These channels could be available alongside the company’s current paid content.
  • A launch may be possible later this year or in early 2022.

Google could soon add free TV channels to Google TV on its partner smart TVs and own streaming hardware, which could make snagging a Chromecast a little more attractive to cable users.

Google has already held talks with free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) distribution channels per a Protocol report. These channels would feature alongside the company’s current paid bouquet of services, from YouTube TV to the bevy of additional supported streaming platforms. These FAST channels would also pack advertising breaks and onscreen watermarks, akin to linear channels you can access with an antenna. The report adds that it may be possible for Chromecast users to browse these channels via a dedicated live TV menu.

See also: Samsung TV Plus — Everything about the free streaming service

The rumored move comes after TV makers and content providers, like Samsung, Amazon, and Roku, have seen an uptick in FAST channels’ popularity. It’s unclear what channels Google may add to its platform, but the additions will nonetheless give potential buyers another reason to snag the company’s streaming hardware.

As for the rumored launch date, Protocol suggests Google could announce the feature in the coming months but posits an early 2022 debut, in line with TV manufacturers.