Vizio adds 4 FAST channels from Scripps Networks

Vizio is expanding free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) programming from Scripps Networks with the addition of four new channels to the smart TV maker’s WatchFree+ platform.

The latest network additions, now available on all Vizio smart TVs, include ION (featuring dramas like “NCIS,” “Chicago Fire,” and “Law & Order: SVU”), ION Mystery (focused on thrillers, docuseries and shows such as the “CSI” franchise, Bounce XL (TV targeting Black viewers with scripted sitcoms and dramas), and Grit Xtra (featuring western series and movies).

Newly added channels expand distribution of content from the E.W. Scripps Company on Vizio’s platform, which is available to millions Vizio users across the U.S. Vizio already offers existing free channels from Scripps such as Newsy and ION Plus, along with streaming apps Newsy, Court TV and Brown Sugar.

Katherine Pond, group VP of Platform Content and Partnerships at Vizio said in a statement that the partnership helps deliver on Vizio’s commitment for entertainment options and enhanced consumer experiences.

“Thanks to these popular Scripps channels with some all-time consumer favorite shows, we can offer an ever-wider variety of free programming across genres and interests and bring more options to millions of WatchFree+ viewers,” Pond stated.

For Scripps, the growing partnership with Vizio reflects the company’s work to expand its networks into connected TV and free streaming platforms, according to a statement by Jeffrey Wolf, chief distribution officer for Scripps Networks division.

“Working with Vizio, we are able to reach more consumers and broaden the audience for our very popular brands and wide array of programming that entertains, informs and engages millions of consumers,” Wolf continued.

ION is already the division’s most profitable network, a Scripps investor presentation shows, reaching 96% of U.S. TV households over the air.

Scripps has said it plans to capitalize on the growing CTV marketplace, which it sees as an opportunity for revenue growth, as it looks to lead in free ad-supported TV. In the second quarter The Scripps Networks increased connected TV viewership by 35%.

In the recent earnings presentation, Scripps noted that all of its local network-affiliated TV stations and Florida 24 have a presence on connected TV platforms such as Roku and Apple TV.

Scripps has or will launch networks such as Newsy, Court TV, Ion Plus, Bounce, Ion Mystery and Grit on major connected TV services this year, including smart TV platforms Samsung TV Plus and Vizio’s WatchFree+, vMVPDs YouTube TV and FuboTV, as well as FAST platforms and services including The Roku Channel, Xumo, Tubi, and FreeVee.