Roku, NBCUniversal Expand FAST Channel Offerings

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NBCUniversal and Roku are teaming up to launch several FAST channels devoted to long-running shows in NBCU’s library.

Starting Aug. 15, the streaming device maker’s Roku Channel will offer free, ad-supported channels featuring the long-running Angela Lansbury mystery show Murder, She Wrote; the original iteration of sitcom Saved by the Bell; and the 1970s-80s drama Little House on the Prairie.

Also launching Tuesday is a Universal Crime channel that will include series like Columbo, The Rockford Files and Kojak; a TNBC channel — referring to NBC’s teen-oriented Saturday programming block of the 1990s — with episodes of Hang Time, Punky Brewster and Major Dad, among others (though of the three name-checked in the NBCU/Roku press release, only Hang Time was part of the original TNBC block); and one devoted to the long-running Oxygen reality series Bad Girls Club.

The NBCU deal expands the company’s relationship with Roku, which already has FAST offerings NBC News Now, Dateline, Today All Day, NBC local stations and regional Telemundo news channels.

“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,” said Jennifer Vaux, vp content acquisition and programming for The Roku Channel.

The Roku Channel will launch two more NBCU FAST channels, Universal Action (The A-Team and original versions of Magnum, P.I. and Knight Rider) and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, later in the year.

“We are excited to expand upon our longstanding relationship with The Roku Channel and dive into the dramatically growing FAST sector by partnering with them to bring our beloved TV shows to their viewers,” said Bruce Casino, executive vp sales and distribution, U.S., for NBCUniversal Global Distribution.

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