Protocol reports that Google TV, Chromecast, and select smart TVs from Sony, TCL, and others likely will add free streaming channels to their lineup soon (-ish). Several industry insiders are saying that Google has been meeting with ad-supported free streaming channels lately. This could possibly result in free channels popping up in the rotation as early as this fall, though Protocol points out the announcement could be held until early 2022.
There are already a number of free streaming channels available, but until they actually partner with Google they won’t be watchable through Google TV, itself. Much like commercial TV stations, these free streaming services circumvent the need for a subscription via ads. So the trade-off would be the occasional program break that you likely won’t be able to skip.