Published on January 16th, 2019 | by Brad Gibson1
Sinclair launches STIRR on Apple TV with national, local programs
Calling it “a new way to watch TV, anywhere”, Sinclair Broadcast Group on Wednesday launched STIRR, its live and on-demand video service blending local and national sources, including content from 20 different partner channels. The service is available with its own standalone Apple TV app.
The free, ad-supported service will bring together partner content with locally produced news, sports and other programming in 20 different TV markets – including top 40 markets like Washington, D.C., Austin, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. A team of about 25 STIRR staffers will make editorial decisions on mixing local content in with other programming on a range of channels.
The plan is to expand to many more of its 191 stations that it operates across the U.S. with hopes to have as many as 50 partner channels on board by the end of the year.
In addition to national networks, the service will be anchored by a new unique local channel called, “STIRR CITY,” offering a curated 24/7 program lineup based on where a viewer lives, the company said in a prepared statement. The new STIRR CITY channel lineup includes live local news, local and regional sports, entertainment and city-focused lifestyle programming provided by the local Sinclair TV station in that city.
STIRR is one channel selected by the user looking for local programming that also combines editorially selected content from 20 partner networks.
STIRR has also developed original channels, including STIRR Movies, STIRR Sports, STIRR Life, and STIRR CITY which will be part of the programming content.
Much like the free service Pluto – also available on Apple TV as an app – STIRR offers free access to:
- Dove Channel
- NASA TV
- Outdoor America
- The Pet Collective
- The T
- World Press Poker
Sinclair has been criticized for its conservative political positions in recent years, and insistence that its stations’ news anchors sometimes read corporate-dictated editorials. Sinclair VP of Emerging Platform Content Scott Ehrlich said STIRR is focused far more on a range of entertainment content.
“If you look at STIRR’s perspective, news is a very small percentage of it,” Ehrlich said. “The only 24-hour news channel we have is Cheddar.”