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Free streaming channel count drops slightly to 1,943, report says

In March, the total number of FAST channels reported by Gavin Bridge was 1,963 — so, who lost 20 channels between then and now?

In March, the total number of FAST channels reported by Gavin Bridge was 1,963 — so, who lost 20 channels between then and now?

Data showing the domestic FAST channel market, as released by CPG Global at the TV of Tomorrow Show in March 2024. (Photo by Matthew Keys for The Desk)
Data showing the domestic FAST channel market, as released by CRG Global at the TV of Tomorrow Show in March 2024. (Photo by Matthew Keys for The Desk)

The number of free streaming content channels dipped slightly to just under 1,950 during the month of May, according to a report on Monday.

The report, published by Gavin Bridge of CRG Global in his “FASTmaster” newsletter, showed the number of free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels tracked by him was 1,943 as of this month.

The number reflected a drop of 20 content streams compared to data points Bridge presented at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco in March, during which he revealed there were 1,963 FAST channels across monitored platforms.

Gavin Bridge.
Gavin Bridge. (The Desk photo)

In an email sent to The Desk late Monday evening, Bridge clarified that the revised number of FAST channels accounted for Comcast’s Peacock removing some of its content streams and updated figures from two other platforms, TCL TV Plus and VIDAA.

The updated figure still represents an increase of 13.1 percent on a year-over basis, with 225 channels added to various FAST platforms since May of last year.

FAST channels are offered by a number of services in the United States, including Paramount-owned Pluto TV, Comcast and Charter-owned Xumo Play, Fox Corporation’s Tubi, Plex and Local Now, among others.

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) has become one of the largest providers of FAST channels to domestic distributors, despite having entered the segment last year. WBD currently programs 46 FAST channels, according to Bridge.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story erroneously referred to CRG Global as “CMG Global.” Additionally, the earlier version incorrectly said the number had dropped below 1,500; it dropped below 1,950.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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