WBD FAST Channels Due to Debut

Warner Bros. Discovery is poised to launch its first FAST channels on its ThreeNow streaming platform.

The broadcaster advised clients on Tuesday that the curated channels were going live — eight months after revealing its plans at November’s upfronts presentation:

We are thrilled to announce our first five, 24/7, FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television) channels, each with exciting content for ThreeNow and a portfolio of channels that will grow over time. Delving into what we know our audiences love to consume, we have curated channels that will have new and exciting audiences alike glued to ThreeNow.

WBD emphasises it is a “soft launch”, which is why the new channels haven’t been promoted to a wider audience than advertisers.

As late as last week, they were still being tested and have yet to appear on ThreeNow (where they will be accessible via the Live TV dropdown).

The initial slate is underwhelming — Reality, TrueCrime, Paranormal, House Hunters, 90 Day Fiancé — but more channels are due this year once WBD has fine-tuned content and the user experience.

Three of the channels are genre-specific, the others are IP-driven. (Indeed, the success of 90 Day Fiancé has spawned a “universe” of shows, with 18 spin-offs at last count.)

All the channels are bespoke, having been programmed for Kiwis using Discovery’s unscripted catalogue. They will have 4-6 hours a day of fresh content, in HD with stereo sound.

It’s not clear how many ad breaks or commercials there will be each hour but expect a lighter load than on linear TV.

The five channels have been culled from an initial 10 that were being tested. Fans of scripted content will be disappointed that none of the movie or drama options made the cut.

But chances are that the WB library will be more to the fore in the next batch of FAST channels that WBD’s Content, Insights and global FAST teams are developing specifically for this market.

FAST channels can be streamed on a variety of platforms, ranging from the likes of ThreeNow and media players to TV brands such as Samsung, which uses its Samsung Plus TV service as a value-added point of difference.

But in this part of the world, BVOD (Broadcaster Video on Demand) is seen as the best fit for FAST channels, distributor Shaun Keeble, of Banijay Rights, this week told delegates at a FAST Festival conference.

Banijay Rights has rolled out its FAST services in Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, Brazil and apparently here.

“We’ve seen good growth in Europe, particularly in the U.K. and Germany,” Keeble said. “We recently launched in Australia.

“When we look at a market like Australia, BVOD platforms are very much accommodating the FAST ecosystem.

“FAST platforms and channels are certainly entering those BVOD services. That is already giving quite a large market awareness.”

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5 Responses to “WBD FAST Channels Due to Debut”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/screenscribe.net/public_html/wp-content/themes/headlines/includes/theme-comments.php on line 66
    July 27, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    YAY, so exciting. It’s good to hear they will continue to add more channels this year 😁👍🏻

  2. Cheers Philip for the post. Will sample them when they launch despite the content on offer. Will they also stream HGTV on ThreeNow as well?

  3. Still no new FAST channels so I’m assuming it’s Tuesday with it being August 1st 🤔 I wonder if the Paranormal channel will include UFOs, it’s quite topical at the moment, it’s good seeing them taken seriously. What we need is a real life Guardians of the Galaxy 😁

  4. Very droll, Trevor. No update re FAST channels launch. WBD did stress it would be a “soft launch”, so clearly some fine tuning still needed. That’s why they didn’t make a media ballyhoo about it. Have asked for a list of the shows that will be on Paranormal and TrueCrime but nothing forthcoming yet.

  5. Who knows Philip, that could be one of the recommendations 😂 Oh well, I guess the FAST channels will just appear like magic 😁

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