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NBC brings free, ad-supported channels to Freevee, Xumo Play

The agreements mark the first time many of the channels have been offered outside Comcast's streaming service Peacock.

The agreements mark the first time many of the channels have been offered outside Comcast's streaming service Peacock.

Local NBC News feeds as they appeared on Comcast’s Xumo Play in January 2023. (Graphic by The Desk)

Comcast’s NBC Universal has inked agreements with its joint venture, Xumo Play, and Amazon’s streaming platform Freevee that will see the distribution of dozens of free, ad-supported streaming channels.

The channels offer a curated selection of NBC’s general entertainment, reality and news programming, as well as Spanish-language content from its sister network, Telemundo. Shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “Top Chef” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” will be among some of the content offerings through the new free, ad-supported channels.

Many of the channels announced on Thursday have been offered on Comcast’s streaming service Peacock for months. Their distribution on Xumo Play and Freevee mark the first time that the channels have been offered on a streaming service that is entirely free to access.

“NBC Universal is in the enviable position of owning a vast array of iconic shows that are not part of our broadcast and cable networks to curate a valuable portfolio of [free, ad-supported] channels,” Matt Schnaars, the president of content distribution at NBC Universal, said in a statement. “These channels, with content from some of the most recognizable brands in television, will find an immediate audience in the growing FAST ecosystem, and create value for NBC Universal, our distribution partners, and our advertisers.”

The channels offered on Freevee and Xumo Play include:

  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents
  • American Crimes
  • Bad Girls Club
  • Bravo Vault
  • E! Keeping Up
  • Golf Pass
  • Lassie
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Made in Chelsea
  • Million Dollar Listing
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • NBC Sports (sports talk programs)
  • Oxygen True Crime Archives
  • Real Housewives Vault
  • Rotten Tomatoes
  • Saved by the Bell
  • SNL Vault
  • TNBC (teen-related shows)
  • Top Chef Vault
  • Universal Action
  • Universal Crimes
  • Universal Westerns
  • Universal Monsters

Four Spanish-language content streams are also part of the agreement:

  • Historias de Amor
  • Lo Mejor de Telemundo
  • Noticias Telemundo Ahora
  • Telemundo al Dia

“In this ever-growing entertainment landscape, we are proud to be a company that offers an extensive library of beloved film and TV series to fulfill the appetite of every viewer,” Belinda Menendez, the president and chief revenue officer at NBC Universal Global Distribution. “With decades worth of titles from various genres, audiences will now have more ways to find our popular content through this wide assortment of hand-selected [free streaming] channels.”

Comcast operates Xumo Play as part of a streaming-focused joint venture with Charter Communications, and already distributes a handful of national and local news streams through the platform. Those channels include “NBC News Now,” “Today All Day,” and “Dateline 24/7.”

“Xumo’s NBC Universal existing [free streaming] channels have always been top performers on Xumo Play, and this new offering will bring more quality programming from networks like NBC, Bravo, NBC Sports and Telemundo to our growing catalog of content,” Stefan Van Engen, the vice president of content programming and partnerships at Xumo, said on Thursday. “Additionally, by providing NBCUniversal with tools and services to bring these channels to other platforms, we can help this great content reach even more audiences.”

In May, NBC Universal and Amazon reached an agreement to distribute its 14 local news streams through the Amazon News app, which aggregates local and national news content that is offered to users of Amazon’s Fire TV devices without cost. On Thursday, executives said the deal reached between NBC and Amazon will allow it to distribute those same news channels through Freevee.

“Freevee has grown into a destination for a vast selection of FAST Channels, offering customers a wide selection of programming to stream from nearly any device including the Freevee app, Fire TV, and Prime Video,” Ryan Pirozzi, the executive in charge of Freevee, said in a statement. “We’re honored to be a launch partner for the full slate of [free streaming] channels coming from the NBC Universal portfolio, and can’t wait for Freevee customers to enjoy nearly 50 new channels, offering endless hours of lean back content to enjoy.”

Xumo Play and Amazon are free downloads on a wide variety of streaming platforms, including Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV (Google TV), as well as most popular smartphones and tablets.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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