Warner Bros. Discovery is finally going FAST — in stages.
Before the company, formed from the April 2022 merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc., launches its own free, ad-supported streaming television app, some of WBD’s owned content — like “Westworld,” “F-Boy Island,” and more — will be packaged into Warner Bros.-branded FAST channels on The Roku Channel and Fox’s Tubi. The channels will launch in February on Tubi, and this “spring” on The Roku Channel.
We do not have a target date for WBD’s own standalone FAST app, but a person with knowledge of the plans tells IndieWire it is still coming.
“The Bachelor,” “Cake Boss,” and “Say Yes to the Dress” are among the other popular TV series coming to The Roku Channel and Tubi. Lots of library material — about 2,000 hours’ worth — including 90 movies, will also migrate to those free services. Warner Bros. Discovery owns the HBO, HBO Max, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, and Turner brands, among others.
Executives at Roku and Tubi are stoked for what is being branded a “co-exclusive” deal between the two platforms and Warner Bros. Discovery.
“As FAST continues to explode in popularity amongst cord-cutters, we’re seeing content players increasingly shift their focus towards capturing this audience, by bringing some of their best stuff to FAST,” Rob Holmes, the VP of programming at Roku, said in a statement on Tuesday. “The rapid expansion of premium content on FAST is a win for both the viewer and content owner, as well as advertisers looking to reach these audiences through well-known programming. We’re delighted to be one of Warner Bros. Discovery’s inaugural FAST partners, and we look forward to introducing its incredible TV series, films, and entertainment brands to a whole new audience on The Roku Channel.”
“Warner Bros. Discovery has a catalogue that TV lovers can’t get enough of and Tubi is proudly making many of these recent hits from Warner Bros. Discovery available to new audiences this month,” Adam Lewinson, the chief content officer for Tubi, said in a separate statement. “From critically acclaimed and groundbreaking to lighthearted and addicting, our new WB branded FAST channels and on-demand offering will speak to each of Tubi’s distinct audience communities.”
The Roku Channel launched in 2017; Tubi was released in 2014.
Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav foreshadowed this plan, sort of, on the company’s November 3, 2022, third-quarter earnings call, saying there’s “a huge amount of content that’s not even on [HBO Max/Discovery+] that’s sitting with us that hasn’t been put to monetize in the marketplace.”
Well, now it sure has.