Roku Inks FAST Channel Deal with Warner Bros. Discovery

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(Image credit: Westworld)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Roku has inked a major deal with Warner Bros. Discovery that will bring Warner Bros. branded FAST channels to The Roku Channel. 

The new channels will feature popular premium content including “Westworld,” “The Bachelor,” “Cake Boss,” “Say Yes to the Dress,” “F-Boy Island,” and more.

The channels are expected to launch on The Roku Channel in spring 2023.

In December, Warner Bros Discovery had announced that it was removing “Westworld” and other titles from HBO Max, angering subscribers, as a cost cutting move by the heavily indebted company. Shifting the content to free-ad supported (FAST) channels on Roku is another example of how Warner Bros. Discovery is hoping that a shift to ad-supported streaming and program sales will help them improve their financial outlook.  

In addition to new FAST channels, the deal will also usher in about 2000 hours of on-demand library programming to The Roku Channel from Warner Bros. Discovery’s brands, including HBO, HBO Max, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, and more, will now be available for audiences to stream for free on The Roku Channel.

“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,” explained Rob Holmes, vice president, programming, Roku. “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.”

The deal builds on The Roku Channel’s significant enhancement of its FAST offering over the last year, with deals that added popular programming from AMC Networks, NBCUniversal, WMX (Warner Music Experience), the National Hockey League, and more to the service.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.