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NBC brings more free content streams to Roku Channel

Comcast’s entertainment division NBC Universal is offering a handful of free, ad-supported content streams to users of The Roku Channel, starting this week.

The deal between Comcast and Roku comes about two months after NBC Universal announced it would distribute general entertainment streams through its own Xumo Play service, as well as Amazon’s Freevee.

The content streams offered on The Roku Channel are the same ones available on Freevee and Xumo Play, to include marathon channels of “Murder, She Wrote,” “Little House on the Prairie” and “Saved by the Bell.”

More channels, including Universal Action and a marathon stream of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” will roll out by the end of the year.

“The Roku Channel is thrilled to announce its expanded relationship with longtime partner NBC Universal,” Jennifer Vaux, the vice president of content acquisition and programming at The Roku Channel, said in a statement. “As FAST continues to gain incredible popularity in the marketplace, we’re excited to bring such terrific content options – including a strong roster of very well-known, fan-favorite programming – to our viewers.”

Prior to this week, The Roku Channel offered access to several NBC News streams, including NBC News Now, Today All Day and Dateline 24/7, as well as a handful of local NBC News streams from NBC owned-and-operated stations in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and San Diego.

Earlier this year, The Roku Channel added Comcast’s London-based news channel Sky News International.

“NBC Universal has an unrivaled catalog of iconic series that have withstood the test of time and entertained audiences around the world,” Bruce Casino, the executive vice president of sales and distribution for NBC Universal, said this week. “We are excited to expand upon our longstanding relationship with The Roku Channel and dive into the dramatically growing [free, ad-supported streaming] sector by partnering with them to bring our beloved TV shows to their viewers.”

The Roku Channel is available by default on all newer-model Roku streaming devices and Roku TV sets. A version of the app that includes most linear streams and on-demand content is also available for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV (Google TV) devices.

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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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