Sinclair debuts streaming service for its local TV stations

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Sinclair, the nation’s largest owner of television stations launched a free, ad-supported streaming service Wednesday drawing on local news, sports and other programs from the 191 TV stations it owns in 89 U.S. markets.
Sinclair said the motivation behind Stirr is in part to help viewers “access the local news and lifestyle programming that is relevant to their everyday life”.
The centerpiece of Stirr will be a digital channel called Stirr City. It will be tailored to a viewer’s location and carry local news and other programs airing on that city’s station. However, viewers will be free to choose a different city. Broadcasters are typically barred from doing so, particularly with sports, though Sinclair appears to be focusing on high school and other local teams for which rights wouldn’t be an issue. Sinclair doesn’t run its own national television network, but rather carries programs from major networks such as ABC and NBC. So when network programs air on the local station, Stirr City will instead have alternate programs, such as a movie.
The Stirr service will also carry separate digital channels that Sinclair doesn’t own, including Cheddar business news, NASA TV, the World Poker Tour and a tennis channel called The T. And Sinclair is developing its own digital channels such for movies, sports and lifestyles.
These channels will stream live, just like a television station, but some programs will also be available on demand. Sinclair expects more than 50 channels by year’s end. Some examples of programming will include the documentaries “Being Evil” and “The Rise of Bitcoin” and traditional TV shows such as “21 Jump Street,” ”Match Game,” ”Family Feud.” Stirr will also have digital-only programs such as a nightly show from the British tabloid The Daily Mail and a daily poker show.