Sinclair Broadcasting has become the latest media company to enter into the streaming arena with its launch of STIRR, a free service that encompasses live TV and video on-demand (VOD) content, on Wednesday morning.
The ad-supported service joins an increasingly crowded space with established contenders like Pluto TV and Xumo — both of which also offer both live TV and VOD content for free.
STIRR will offer its customers access to its 191 local TV stations via its “STIRR CITY” channel, a curated 24/7 program lineup which is based on where a viewer lives. The channel lineup will include live local news, local and regional sports, entertainment and city-focused lifestyle programming provided by the local Sinclair TV station in the viewer’s city.
“Local TV station’s programming, especially local news, has remained some of the most popular and desired content to audiences and advertisers alike,” Adam Ware, STIRR’s general manager, said. “By creating the STIRR CITY channel format, local TV stations can now extend their programming strength to OTT.”
To promote STIRR, Sinclair will use its collection of TV stations to reach its existing broadcast audience — an older-skewing demographic that the company said has not yet been tapped by Pluto TV or Xumo.
“We’re going to be talking to the people that those guys haven’t reached yet,” director of content acquisitions Ben Lister told The Wrap. “So not only are we unique with our local content offering, but the fact that we reach people in these local markets [that] are not early adopters of digital gives us an advantage.”
“We are entering a new era of broadcast television and our number one priority at Sinclair is to help advance the industry and increase access to broadcast content in the midst of a digital age,” added Sinclair CEO Christopher Ripley. “With the launch of STIRR, we intend to offer audiences an easy, convenient and free way to watch live local and national channels, as well access a deep selection of on-demand programming.”
Available on iOS, Android, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, and Roku, STIRR will launch with channels from 20 national networks including BUZZR, Charge, Cheddar, Comet, CONtv, Dove Channel, DUST, and FailArmy. The streaming service has also developed original channels, including STIRR Movies, STIRR Sports, and STIRR Life. The streamer plans to add new linear networks monthly with the goal of growing to over 50 by the end of 2019.