Vizio expands AMC+ content on FAST service WatchFree+

Vizio has expanded a multi-year content deal with AMC Networks that brings additional linear-programmed channels and on-demand content to the smart TV maker’s free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) platform WatchFree+.

Building on a November deal between Vizio and AMC, the expanded partnership delivers five more FAST channels and 159 on-demand movies. New channels include Portlandia, MSG Sports Zone, AMC en Espanol, Allblk Gems and Overtime.

Katherine Pond, Group Vice President, Platform Content and Partnerships at Vizio, in a statement pointed to the popularity of AMC content on the platform, which already includes channels such as All Reality We tv, AMC Thrillers, IFC Films Picks and The Walking Dead Universe.

“The expansion of our partnership is based on user engagement with existing AMC programming across FAST and AVOD programming as well as viewer response to the recent addition of AMC+ to our premium app library,” stated Pond. “Our expanded agreement means Vizio users can access an even wider range of AMC’s popular and critically acclaimed original programming - enjoying more of what they love, all in one place.”

Vizio said in the coming months users will be able to subscribe to AMC+ using their Vizio account, with a feature to manage subscriptions and redeem offers in one place.

"This is an exciting expansion of our relationship with Vizo, which will make even more of our acclaimed and popular programming available to Vizio audiences including, for the first time, the addition of nine of our curated FAST channels," said Kim Kelleher, chief commercial officer of AMC Networks, in a statement. "As we continue to build a new programming universe and franchise around the iconic works of Anne Rice, and bring exciting new stories from the world of The Walking Dead and other new original series to millions of passionate fans, we value our partnership with Vizio connect our high-quality and popular original programming with viewers as part of our robust and growing distribution ecosystem." 

As consumers continue to increasingly turn to free streaming options, Vizio has seen revenue gains for its smart TV platform and FAST service help offset slower hardware sales. Media companies like AMC meanwhile are turning to FASTs to monetize large content libraries and attract viewers to current series. Highlighting the growing library of AVOD and FAST programming on Vizio smart TVs, last week Whip Media announced the OEM tapped the vendor to utilize its software platform to manage ad revenue reporting and automate payments to content partners for WatchFree+.

“This partnership gives us the ability to quickly scale and process ad revenue data efficiently across a growing list of thousands of titles and for hundreds of content partners,” Vizio CFO Adam Townsend said of the Whip agreement.

WatchFree+ counts more than 260 channels and over 6,000 movies and shows. Other smart TV makers also tout FAST services, including Samsung TV Plus, LG Channels, and now The Roku Channel on recently debuted Roku-branded smart TVs.