Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) is to launch branded FAST channels for series including the recently cancelled Westworld via ad-supported platforms The Roku Channel and Fox-owned Tubi.
The deal with The Roku Channel encompasses titles including Westworld, The Bachelor, Cake Boss, Say Yes To The Dress and F-Boy Island (among others), which will come to the platform this spring.
As well as the FAST channels, around 2,000 hours of on-demand WBD library programming will come to The Roku Channel. This will include hundreds of TV series and movies from brands including HBO, HBO Max, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Television, which will be free to stream on The Roku Channel.
This content deal with WBD comes after Roku signed an agreement with Lionsgate last year. The multi-year theatrical output deal sees Lionsgate films make their way to The Roku Channel following their first window on Starz.
Meanwhile, Tubi will launch 14 WB-branded FAST channels covering more than 225 titles and over 2,000 hours of content. It will also create three curated FAST channels – WB TV Reality, WB TV Series and WB TV Family – featuring WBD content including Westworld, Raised by Wolves, Legendary, F-Boy Island, The Nevers, Finding Magic Mike, Head of the Class and The Time Traveler’s Wife. Also coming to the platform are 11 FAST channels featuring WBD content focused around genres including lifestyles, homes, classic movies, education, mysteries, and weddings.
WBD announced its intention to license shows to third-party FAST channels, as well as explore a move into the space itself, in December 2022. At the time, Westworld, along with other scripted titles removed from HBO Max such as The Nevers, were named.
Meanwhile, last month, Roku reported more than 70 million active accounts globally, adding almost 10 million on the previous year. However, these figures came as the company let go 200 employees in the US – around 5% of its overall staff – as a result of the US economic downturn.
David Decker, WBD’s president of content sales said that the two deals provided new avenues to bring content to viewers, while Adam Lewinson, CCO of Tubi, said: “Our new WB branded FAST channels and on-demand offering will speak to each of Tubi’s distinct audience communities.”
Rob Holmes, VP of programming at Roku, added: “As FAST continues to explode in popularity amongst cord-cutters, we’re seeing content players increasingly shift their focus towards capturing this audience, by bringing some of their best stuff to FAST. The rapid expansion of premium content on FAST is a win for both the viewer and content owner, as well as advertisers looking to reach these audiences through well-known programming.”