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Global TV (CA)

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globaltv.com

We live in a world of cord cutting, streaming, and binging on our mobile devices. There is no going back to how it used to be, the days when cable boxes and satellite dishes ruled the land. Today, streaming is king. If you haven’t been able to find a way to provide on-demand and/or live TV streaming to your customers by now, chances are you will be out of business soon – if it hasn’t happened already (that’s right, I’m looking at you, Blockbuster).

There are plenty of different ways to approach the age of TV streaming. Some have opted to create their own on-demand streaming service, a la Netflix and Hulu. NBC went this way with Peacock, as did NBC with NBC All Access (which just recently became absorbed by Paramount Plus). Discovery, too, just recently jumped on the TV streaming train with a new TV streaming site of their own, Discovery Plus. Regardless of which of these streamers you use (if any), one thing remains true: traditional cable packages are quickly going the way of the dinosaurs.

Traditional cable, however, is not completely extinct quite yet. In fact, just about every big cable company has, at this point, made their networks available online, via some sort of streaming platform or another. These platforms, as far as I can tell anyway, seem meant to be something of a bridge between their cable offerings and the future (the present, really), because they are only accessible to people who are already customers.

These sorts of free TV streaming services don’t get discussed nearly as often as the premium, big-name services. You know, the usual suspects: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney Plus, etc. But they are often an extremely valuable TV streaming resource, especially for those of us who like to stream live TV or catch up on the latest episodes of our favorite TV shows that we may have missed. So, if you do still have traditional cable, well, it may pay off to not cut the cord quite yet after all. There is a good chance that your cable company offers a decent free TV streaming site for you to take advantage of.

Okay, let me be a little clearer here, because it is not always exactly 100% accurate to call a cable network streaming service a free TV streaming site. At least not in the strictest sense of the term. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase “free TV streaming site” I don’t picture a premium TV streaming experience; I picture an ad-ridden site that only works about half of the time that you visit. Why, then, do I refer to these sorts of streamers as such? Allow me to explain…

Sites like Global TV are some of the best free TV streaming sites in the sense that, if you are already a customer of Global – Canada’s second largest terrestrial cable company – then you can watch anything your heart desires on Globaltv.com with no additional charge. In that sense, it is a free TV streaming site.

But Global TV is also a free TV streaming site in the sense of, well, it is 100% free to watch new episodes of your favorite shows for up to 7 days after they air. To do this, you don’t even have to sign in! Taking this into account, I think it is fair to say that Global TV is easily one of the best TV streaming sites on the web … so long as you catch your show within a week of its original air date! The only catch? You have to be in Canada to stream TV free on Global.

Okay, now that we have gotten that out of the way, we can start talking about Global TV, where it came from, what it has to offer, and how it stacks up against the other free TV streaming sites out there today. As I just said, Global is Canada’s second most viewed private cable network (second only to CTV), and it owns and operates 15 channels of its own throughout the country.

History

Global has humble beginnings, though, first starting out as a regional TV station serving southern Ontario. This launched way back in 1974. It didn’t take long, though, for the regional station to be acquired by CanWest Global Communications (now defunct). Throughout the decades to follow, Global gradually expanded its reach throughout Canada thanks to key acquisitions and the successful creation of new stations. Eventually, a quasi-cable network began to materialize, which was called the CanWest Global System until all of the stations became unified under the Global branding in 1997.

And today, in 2021, Global TV stands tall as one of the best TV streaming sites and cable networks in the whole world. The company has come quite a long ways from being just a regional, low-budget Ontario TV station in the ‘70s, wouldn’t you say?

Design

“Free TV streaming sites” and “excellent web design” are 2 phrases that don’t usually get put together in the same sentence. If you have spent any amount of time browsing free TV streaming sites (especially free live TV streaming sites) before, then you already know well what I am talking about. These sorts of sites typically offer mediocre user experiences at best.

Luckily, though, this is far from the case when it comes to Global TV. In fact, Global TV easily provides one of the best free TV streaming site designs that I have ever seen. The site is clean, organized, intuitive, professional, responsive, and very easy to navigate. It should be immediately familiar to anybody who has used a streamer before (which is, of course, just about everybody!).

When you land on the site’s homepage, you will be greeted by an extra-large banner. Here, you will find featured series, events, and show episodes. Feeling lazy? No need to start digging through Global’s enormous library of binge-worthy TV. If the featured title calls to you, it’s as easy as 1 click to start streaming TV instantly.

Most days, though, you’ll probably want to continue perusing before settling on the first show that you see. Or you might even have a specific TV series in mind that you want to watch. If so, the site is equally easy to use. The site menu bar, for instance, above the banner lets you jump to the kind of content that you crave. Pick between Shows (naturally), Full Episodes, Highlights, Schedule, Live TV, and Newsletter.

If none of that speaks to you, though, you can always scroll down and browse in the classic streaming site fashion. Scroll through a descending series of menu rows, each organized by category or genre. See what’s new this season, latest primetime episodes, news, daytime TV, and more. The site, too, is wonderfully dynamic and responsive, with interactive thumbnails that respond and change when your cursor hovers (always a nice touch, even if mostly aesthetic).

Content and Features

Global TV is one of the best free TV streaming sites on the web when it comes to streaming TV shows on-demand, sure, but it also holds its weight as far as streaming live TV shows is concerned as well. With an impressive list of available channels to stream live, Global TV is a great way to keep up to date with your favorite series. Naturally, you can live stream any of the Global channels. Additionally, though, this site allows you to tune into the History Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Slice, W, Showcase, National Geographic, and Adult Swim. You will also have access to staples like NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, etc. Basically, if you can access it on your TV, you can stream it live on Global.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

Good news: there are mobile apps available for both iOS and Android devices. Both apps are incredibly smooth, user-friendly, and dependable. But don’t just take my word for it, take a look at the reviews on the Apple App Store, where it received an average user rating of 4.5 (out of 5).

My only beef with Global TV’s compatibility concerns the fact that it is only available on mobile devices and laptop/desktop browsers. There are no console or TV apps for Global. Then again, though, if you are a Global TV customer, I suppose you won’t really require a smart TV app because, well, you already have the cable connection.

Likes & Hates:
Tons of in-demand, high-quality TV channels and series
Stream live TV or stream on-demand
Free to stream shows for non-members for up to 7 days after they air
Great interface and mobile apps
Limited device compatibility
Only available in Canada