Free TV Networks is a new over-the-air and streaming company, and plans to launch its first two FAST channels on New Year’s Day. The new company was founded by Jonathan Katz and includes Warner Bros. Discovery, Lionsgate and Gray Television as partners.
The two channels set to launch on January 1 are The365 and Outlaw. While The365 will focus on African-American programming, Outlaw will be a network showcasing Westerns, according to NextTV.
While these two channels will initially launch as over-the-air networks, it is understood that streaming versions will also become available in due course. In addition, Free TV Networks is also expected to launch an array of free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels in the future as well.
In terms of the partnerships, it would seem that Free TV Networks is partly relying on Warner Bros. Discovery and Lionsgate for content, while Gray Television will help to ensure that the new networks launch with distribution in 80% of the U.S.
The launch and motivation behind Free TV Networks is yet another example of the power of FAST in the age of streaming. Free streaming services like Pluto TV and Tubi continue to grow and a number of major distributors and content owners have also launched their own FAST channels to get in on the market.
One of the common benefits of all of these free channels and services is that they are typically readily available in app form and, often, through other streaming services. Once Free TV Networks fully rolls out, it should be expected that its free streaming channels will also be easily accessible to homes.