Peacock first partner for Vizio's content discovery feature on WatchFree+

Vizio on Wednesday debuted a new content discovery feature tied to its WatchFree+ service and smart TV interface, with NBCUniversal’s Peacock signed on as its first content partner.

The new feature, called Content Connections, means users can move directly from Vizio’s free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) WatchFree+ environment to popular subscription services. In the partnership with Peacock, it promotes and gives viewers a limited-time preview of the SVOD’s programming on Vizio’s WatchFree+. The feature gives users a taste of what Peacock has to offer while also prompting and promoting ways for viewers to directly connect to the Peacock app for more content that’s available with the premium subscription services.

As viewers see select episodes of popular Peacock titles on WatchFree+, the platform then serves what Vizio called “intuitive messages” that direct them to the content partner’s streaming app. Not only that but the smart TV interface provides a direct connection so that viewers can hop from the linear-style channels on the Vizio FAST into the content partner’s SVOD app (in this case Peacock) to watch additional episodes if they have an account or can sign up.

For the Peacock Preview experience specifically, consumers with Vizio smart TVs can get a free access to select episodes of more than 16 popular Peacock titles for a three-week period. 

The Peacock Preview channel will both be promoted on the Vizio home screen and live in the Movies & TV category on channel 196 of the WatchFree+ programming guide, with select episodes from the following shows among others:

  • A Friend of the Family
  • Bel-Air
  • Below Deck Adventure
  • Below Deck Down Under
  • Below Deck Mediterranean
  • Dr. Death
  • The Real Housewives of Atlanta
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
  • The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip
  • The Traitors
  • Vanderpump Rules


The feature and partnership comes at a time when consumers are still struggling to find content they want to watch amid an array of options and streaming services are seeking ways to get titles in front of viewers across a fragmented viewing landscape.

Annie Luo, EVP of Global Partnerships and Strategic Development at Peacock, in a statement highlighted the need for new ways for consumers to find its content.

“Providing opportunities for consumers to discover Peacock’s programming is integral to our continued growth,” stated Luo. “As a brand, we’re always looking for innovative partnerships that can help audiences build a stronger connection to our content, and through VIZIO’s Content Connections we can both introduce viewers to our series and give them a way to connect to Peacock with ease.”

Details of the relationship, such as whether Vizio’s licensing the content as part of the partnership or how it’s generating partner, sponsorship or other related revenue, weren’t immediately clear. Fierce reached out to Vizio, which declined to comment based on the confidential nature of the deal. Vizio’s seen advertising revenue for its smart TV platform continue to climb, even as device sales have dipped over recent quarters.

Speaking during a CTV leaders panel discussion at the StreamTV Show on Tuesday, Katherine Pond, group VP of Platform, Content & Partnerships at Vizio, commented on competition in the TVOS space, saying she still sees “a world of opportunity” in the competitive U.S. market, with differentiated experiences as the way to maintain and capture position as more players vie for share.

She also tied that directly to work with content partners that’s enabled by owning the TV device and OS, noting some of the innovations it’s pursuing aren’t strictly for the benefit of Vizio.

“Obviously we’re doing it for the consumers, but we’re also enabling every single one of our content partners to come participate with us in these experiences,” Pond said during the event in Denver.

As an example of that, she said Vizio recently used its underlying ACR tech to work with a major network partner to detect an ad that was running on linear, then offered the user an interactive message that presented the chance to move from that linear ad into that network partner’s streaming app environment on the Vizio platform.  

“So moving from a linear environment directly into the streaming environment, something you can’t do if you don’t own the hardware, the software and all of the data flowing through it,” Pond commented.