STIRR Launches COVID-19 News Channel

As people turn to local news stations for critical updates amidst the crisis, the free streaming platform is experiencing a record number of users and sessions.

STIRR, a free, ad-supported OTT streaming service owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, has launched COVID-19 News, a channel singularly focused on the global pandemic. It provides viewers with live feeds of important news events, including national and local daily press conferences and other critical updates on the crisis. The channel is presented commercial free.

As concerns surrounding COVID-19 continued to escalate throughout the month of March, STIRR experienced a significant growth in number of users, sessions and video plays, demonstrating the heightened demand for local news during the crisis. Ultimately, this demand led to the rebrand of an existing channel, STIRR Life, into COVID-19 News.

Sinclair says that just one week after its launch, COVID-19 News has become the second most watched channel on the platform, following only the signature STIRR City channel.

“In times of uncertainty, people rely on local news to stay updated on critical and potentially life-saving information,” said Sinclair President-CEO Chris Ripley. “At Sinclair, we are dedicated to providing our viewers with easy access to vital information — which is why we created a STIRR channel entirely dedicated to COVID-19. We hope that it will help viewers stay informed, healthy and safe.”

Since the first week of March, STIRR has seen a 70% daily increase in total users; a 56% increase in total daily sessions; and an 84% spike in total video plays.

Since launching in 2019 with 24 channels, STIRR now offers audiences more than 100 linear channels, and more than 5,000 hours of video-on-demand content at no cost to the consumer. This includes the STIRR City channel, a curated, 24/7 linear TV station with a lineup based on the viewer’s city, offering local news and sports, as well as syndicated TV series, movies and city-focused lifestyle programming to audiences across the country.

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