National Newswatch

TORONTO — Free streaming service Pluto TV is coming to Canada this fall, the latest in a growing number of ad-supported alternatives to Netflix and other subscription platforms.

Corus Entertainment says it has partnered with the service's owner Paramount Global, formerly ViacomCBS, to roll out more than 100 channels of streaming TV series, movies, sports and other shows.

Under the deal, Toronto-based Corus will oversee advertising placement on the service in Canada and supply Corus original programming in a variety of genres with shows that include "Iron Chef Canada," "Masters of Flip," "Private Eyes" and "Rookie Blue."

A representative for Corus says Pluto TV will also host live streams of Global News channels from 14 markets across the country, an offering that's currently available on Amazon's Prime Video.

Pluto TV is the latest brand to step into the underdeveloped Canadian market of "live TV" streaming options, which provide a diverse selection of free programming with ad breaks streaming in a continuous feed, rather than offered on-demand.

The design of "live TV" services evokes the experience of channel surfing with an on-screen programming guide that outlines the schedule.

Details on Pluto TV's Canadian lineup haven't been announced, but in the United States the company serves up channels that dive deep into fandoms, including ones dedicated to "Star Trek," "Hell's Kitchen" and "C.S.I." marathons.

In Canada, the Roku Channel is one of the few comparable services. Its channels include one dedicated to Canadian films, a marathon of "Baywatch" and several devoted to music videos from the 1980s, 1990s and other niches.

Pluto TV arrives as some industry observers suggest an explosion of paid streaming services in recent years has led the market to a saturation point. That may leave an opening for companies looking to sell a no-commitment alternative to consumers looking to reduce their monthly bills.

Various ad-supported, free on-demand streaming options already exist in Canada, including Tubi, CBC Gem and some offerings on Citytv and CTV's streaming service, to name a few.

Executives at Disney have said they intend to launch a lower-cost, ad-supported plan for Disney Plus starting later this year in some markets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CJR.B)

David Friend, The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press
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