Free ad-supported streaming services are one of the fastest-growing areas in cord cutting. FOX owns Tubi, Paramount owns Pluto TV, NBC Universal has Xumo Play, and Warner Bros. Discovery is launching a service called WBTV at some point in the future. That is just the free services owned by a major broadcast TV company. There are likely hundreds of free legal streaming services now.
One company that had been strangely quiet about a free streaming service has been Disney. Now though, Disney has started to quietly build a free streaming service using its ABC app back in the Spring of 2023. With little fanfare and no announcement that we could find, Disney in early 2023 started to dramatically increase the amount of free live channels of Disney-owned content to the ABC app. This includes 24/7 feeds of popular older ABC shows and content from other networks like National Geographic. Most notably just recently, Disney added a free feed of ESPN with the addition of ESPN8.
Now Disney has officially announced the addition of this free content and officially launched the ABC app as a place to watch a ton of free content that needs no cable login. Here is the announcement from Disney about the official launch of this free lineup:
How would you like instant access to 24/7 streaming channels with great shows, movies and specials that are ALWAYS ON? We’re talking all-day entertainment with no sign-in needed thanks to our growing selection of Unlocked Channels which now includes the all-new “20/20″ and ESPN8: The Ocho” live streaming channels. Watch free with no sign-in needed! Be sure to watch on the ABC app from your smartphone and tablet (iOS and Android), computer on ABC.com and connected devices (Roku, AppleTV and Amazon Fire TV). See our list of Unlocked Channels below and start streaming now!
Here are all the channels included for free in the ABC app:
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Free streaming services like Pluto TV, Tubi, and more are a multi-billion dollar business that is expected to continue to grow. Now it seems that Disney wants a piece of this pie to help them not only earn money but expand their paid Disney+ service.
Paramount has been pointed to as one of the most successful uses of a free streaming service to promote a paid one. Paramount uses Pluto TV to push Paramount+ subscription. To do this, they often will put older seasons of Paramount+ shows on Pluto TV right before a new season comes out. Paramount hopes viewers will fall in love with the show for free on Pluto TV and subscribe to see the new season on Paramount+.
Disney is a long way off right now from taking on Pluto TV and Tubi with its ABC app, but they have slowly been building up the amount of free content that streams live 24/7 channels on the service. The question now is, will this test of free TV through ABC turn into a full-blown effort to directly take on the large but extremely competitive field of free streaming services like Pluto TV and Tubi?
You can check out these free channels on the ABC Roku Channel by adding it to your Roku HERE.