Live, Local News Propels Sinclair’s STIRR OTT Service to 1 Million App Milestone

BALTIMORE—Sinclair Broadcast Group’s STIRR OTT linear channel has reached a milestone, achieving one million app downloads in the first six months of its operation, the group announced last week.

"We launched STIRR with the base premise that all of the national OTT services were ignoring the value of local programming, and in particular live local news," said Sinclair President and CEO Christopher Ripley.

STIRR, a free, ad-supported over-the-top streaming service delivers live, local news, TV shows and digital-first content to viewers.

“Hitting the one million download milestone, combined with the immediate success of the STIRR City channel, has confirmed our strategy, creating the foundation for continued growth.”

Sinclair attributes the popularity of STIRR to its focus on giving viewers access to live, local news and free linear TV channels.

While the STIRR OTT lineup offers more than 30 channels, including Buzzr, Comet, Charge, Stadium, Dove Channel, Dust, Con TV and Shout Factory, it is STIRR City that has garnered the service’s highest viewership.

The 24/7 STIRR City program lineup is based on a viewer’s city. It includes local news, syndicated TV shows, movies, sports and city-focused lifestyle shows.

Along with Sinclair’s announcement that STIRR has reached the one million app download milestone, the station group released other related metrics, including:

  • 76% of app downloads were done via connected TV devices, such as Roku, Fire TV and tvOS;
  • 85% of viewership is on connected TV devices;
  • On average, viewers watch STIRR twice a week, a 50% jump since its launch;
  • Viewers watch for an average of one hour at a time, a 200% increase since launch;
  • STIRR City is the service’s top watched channel; and
  • Live, local newscasts are the most watched programming.

According to the group, STIRR is on track to add 10 more national channels and new STIRR City channels not covered by Sinclair’s footprint over the next six months.

More information is available on the STIRR website.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.