WBD FAST Channels Update

Not so fast … essentially that was Warner Bros. Discovery’s response to yesterday’s speculative post about the pending rollout of its FAST channels in NZ.

It stressed the FAST channels platform is still in developmental phase and not ready for primetime — unlike the new ThreeSport hub, which goes live tomorrow on the ThreeNow app with its live SailGP streaming.

“The screenshot that is available online was taken from a test environment, which was uploaded accidentally, due to human error,” a WBD spokesperson said in a statement to ScreenScribe while requesting the screenshot be removed.

“While this is part of preliminary development, it’s not necessarily reflective of what the final product may look like.”

WBD didn’t dispute the details in the post, which pointed towards WBD’s US FAST channels options, but hasn’t been forthcoming about its FAST channels timetable in NZ.

We still don’t know when the channels will go live or why the rollout is taking so long when it figured prominently in last year’s upfront and FAST channels around the world are mushrooming.

Reports Forbes: “Variety VIP+ cites 2020 as the year FAST really took off, and the trajectory since then has been astounding …

“Not only does the viewer get to passively enjoy without paying a monthly subscription fee often associated with streaming, but they also don’t have to pay a monthly cable TV bill. FAST content is free, so viewers willing to sit through ads can save money.

“Industry conversations and developments tell us that many streaming platforms will go the way of CuriosityStream, abandoning the subscription model in favour of FAST across as many platforms as possible, driving revenue on existing content libraries.

“The unit economics of a $5 to $10 subscription doesn’t make much sense if, on average, you are paying $50 to $75 to acquire a subscriber and they churn out in six to nine months.”

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10 Responses to “WBD FAST Channels Update”

  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
    June 16, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    Don’t we already have FAST channels in NZ – all the Freeview channels whether broadcast or multicast (ooops streamed) are FAST channels. It’d be good to actually use this acronym rather than FTA (which they haven’t been for many many years)

  2. So it could still be this year or not 🤔

  3. Hi Philip, what is your take from the comments? To me it sounds like they haven’t decided whether to go ahead with the FAST channels or not and it makes me wonder if there is a slim chance of them bringing Max forward for New Zealand 🤔

  4. Modern Samsung TVs have an impressive range of FAST channels currently here in NZ. Drama, movies, documentaries, music, game shows and more.

  5. Well that was exciting and then not at the same time. Hopefully this rollout happens before the year concludes. They’re probably wanting to fix their terrible ThreeNow app before adding the FAST channels. On a side note, Philip, are they going to put the HGTV livestream on ThreeNow & Freeview streaming, we’ve been waiting for months now and they still haven’t done it but they can launch a Three Sport pop up channel.

  6. I think it will still be full steam ahead for the FAST channels, Trevor, but first WBD will want to integrate everything into a new, improved ThreeNow app that will probably be renamed a Discovery+ or a ThreeMax to better represent the broader content now on the platform. Today’s ThreeSport launch and the streamlining of the ThreeNow interface are the first promising steps towards this. WBD may also still be negotiating rights for content in this market that are spread across free-to-air, pay and streaming services.

  7. I agree with that Philip. At the moment I’m watching the SailGP, it’s excellent and wonderful to see Three with their own sports channel. It will be interesting to see what other sports they will have 😁

  8. Any idea if the new CNN Fast channel will make its way into the New Zealand market? It launched in Europe about a month ago.

  9. WBD isn’t commenting on its FAST plans, Hamish. The preliminary channels it’s testing don’t include a news/current affairs option, so it doesn’t appear as if a CNN FAST is on the cards. Which is a pity as TVNZ+ doesn’t offer a 24-hour news channel, either. If a CNN FAST does surface, expect it to be a vastly stripped back version of Sky’s.

  10. This? It’s just as bad as all the usual CNN channels. Just open it in your player software CNN FAST (GB) https://cdn-uw2-prod.tsv2.amagi.tv/linear/amg00405-rakutentv-cnnfastlg-rakuten-lggb/playlist.m3u8

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