NBCU delivers more FAST content to Google, Android TV

NBCUniversal continues to expand distribution of its content on free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) platforms, most recently bringing four new linear channels to Google TV and Android TV devices in the U.S.

Four new channels from Telemundo Enterprises and the NBCU Global Distribution library are joining the TV platforms including: Murder, She Wrote; Universal Crime, featuring mystery, suspense and action drama series; Lo Mejor de Telemundo, featuring recent fan favorites and classic hits; and Historias de Amor, offering romantic comedies and dramatic love sagas.

Earlier NBCU added FAST channels to Google TV including NBC News Now, Today All Day, Dateline 24/7, NBC local stations, Telemundo al Día, and Sky News International.

It marks the latest content distribution for NBCU, which last week expanded its lineup on The Roku Channel.  That follows the launch of nearly 50 FAST channels on Amazon’s Freevee and Xumo Play in June. In terms of audience, The Roku Channel is available to an estimated 100 million people in the U.S.  As for Google, Circana data estimates that as of May 2023, Google/Android TV OS had a household base of around 9.1 million homes.

For Google TV it means more free content, bolstering the recently introduced Live programming guide, with a lineup that incorporated over 800 free streaming channels at launch.

And as NBCU licenses content to various platform players, its business-to-business Xumo Enterprise unit also sees a piece of the action. Xumo Enterprise already helped power 77 of the built-in Google TV FAST channels launched in April, and in today’s announcement noted that all of NBCU’s new FAST channels on third-party services, including Google TV, are powered by the unit.

Other platform players, namely Amazon’s Fire TV, have also recently expanded free content. Fire TV Channels earlier this week announced a roster of new partners for its free ad-supported short-form content experience.

Still, that doesn’t mean all FAST services are exactly fully loaded.

In a recent column for StreamTV Insider, One Touch Intelligence’s Michael Grebb detailed data from the research firm’s StreamTrak video intelligence service that detected FASTs still have “considerable unfilled time amounting to ‘We’ll be right back’ or even blank screens lasting 10 minutes or more.”

Per the firm’s audits from January to June 2023, One Touch found average unfilled time on FASTs stood around 3.9 minutes per hour, an improvement from 4.2 minutes from July to December 2022. Still, it varies widely among different players, Grebb noted, with one FAST provider averaging 36 seconds of unfilled time per hour, compared to 8.2 minutes of unfilled time for an unnamed peer.