NBCU Unleashing Flock of New Free Streaming Channels on Freevee, Xumo

Real Housewives Vault Channel
(Image credit: NBCUniveral)

NBCUniversal said it will be launching more than 20 new free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels that will initially be available on Xumo and Amazon Freevee this summer.

The streaming channels will be built around a broad range of NBCU entertainment, news, sports and Spanish-language content, from Saturday Night Live and Bravo favorites Top Chef, Real Housewives and Keeping Up With The Kardashians to black-and-white classics including The Lone Ranger, Lassie and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

The flotilla of FASTs represents a change in strategy for NBCU, which eliminated the free tiers of its Peacock streaming service, which has counted on shows like SNL and Bravo programming to attract viewers.

Like other major media companies, NBCU has been losing money by trying to hoard its programming for its own direct-to-consumer business and is flailing for additional ways to generate revenue from its library of content.

With consumers facing streaming subscription shock, FAST channels have been multiplying. Warner Bros. Discovery has been moving content onto FAST channels with Roku and Tubi. Paramount and Fox own FAST platforms Pluto TV and Tubi, respectively.

“NBCUniversal 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 FAST channels,” said Matt Schnaars, president, NBCUniversal Content Distribution. “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 NBCUniversal, our distribution partners and our advertisers.” 

Added NBCUniversal president and chief revenue officer, global distribution Belinda Menendez: “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. 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 FAST channels.”

NBCU already has a number of FAST channels, mostly carrying national news and local news from its NBC and Telemundo stations, as well as Sky News International.

“Xumo’s NBCUniversal existing FAST 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,” said Stefan Van Engen, VP, content programming and partnerships at Xumo, a joint venture of NBCU parent Comcast and Charter Communications. “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.”

“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,” said Ryan Pirozzi, Head of Amazon Freevee. “We’re honored to be a launch partner for the full slate of FAST Channels coming from the NBCUniversal portfolio and can’t wait for Freevee customers to enjoy nearly 50 new channels, offering endless hours of lean back content to enjoy.”

Here’s how NBCU describes its new channels:

Bravo Vault: From Shahs of Sunset to Flipping Out, Bravo Vault immerses you in all the high-sheen content and drama you love with our rotating content library.  

E! Keeping Up: Keep up with each breakup and breakdown from the first family of reality TV, the Kardashians/Jenners. The E! Keeping Up Vault has the episodes and spin offs that created an empire. Re-live it all now.  

Million Dollar Listing Vault: Dig deep into the many seasons of Million Dollar Listing from L.A. to N.Y., S.F. to Miami. Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing vault introduces you to the best of real estate and all the deals and drama.  

Oxygen True Crime Archives: Oxygen True Crime Archives is your home for deep dives into infamous cases and binge-watching original series. True crime, all day, every day.  

Real Housewives Vault: Revisit the Real Housewives that launched the iconic franchise, showcasing the glitz, glamour, and drama of the reality show’s wealthy female stars.  

SNL Vault: See your favorite characters, sketches, and hosts in an array of Saturday Night Live clips.

Top Chef Vault: Bravo’s Top Chef Vault has a rotating library to catch up on and learn the latest in sous-vide, gastronomy and more from the ultimate food competition show.  

American Crimes: Explore the dark side of the American dream and life behind bars, featuring award-winning series American Greed and Lockup.

GolfPass: GolfPass brings together thousands of lessons from the game’s biggest instructors, exclusive series, Golf Channel news and features, and much more.   

NBC Sports: Stay updated on the latest sports news with entertaining talk programs, including Premier League Stories and The Dan Patrick Show.  

Historias de Amor: Delightful romantic comedies and emotionally charged dramatic sagas of love and revenge. Based on authentic storytelling, offering familiar content for the bilingual U.S. Latino population.   

Lo Mejor de Telemundo: Discover recent fan favorites and revisit hits from Telemundo, including dramas, reality, and novelas, featuring popular series such as El Caso Cerrado, El Domo del Dinero, and more.   

Noticias Telemundo Ahora: 24/7 Spanish-language news channel from the U.S. Hispanic community’s most trusted news source, featuring breaking news, interviews with leading newsmakers, live reports from major cities across the country and lifestyle content.

Telemundo al Día: Offering the latest in entertainment and sports news. Content includes shows like Al Rojo Vivo, La Mesa Caliente, Telemundo Deportes and more.   

Rotten Tomatoes: The Rotten Tomatoes channel is the one-stop source for movie and TV fans, with fresh takes on favorite scenes, previews of blockbusters, and weekly content highlights.   

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Emmy-winning anthology series created by Alfred Hitchcock features suspenseful and delightfully twisting mysteries.    

Bad Girls Club: Watch as seven outrageously bold, brazenly misbehaved women attempt to transform their reckless ways. Can they change — or will chaos rule?  

Lassie: Join Lassie, the Martin family’s beloved canine, and her human and animal companions as they embark on adventures. Learn why dogs truly are a man’s best friend in this Emmy-winning series.  

Little House on the Prairie: Set in the late 1800s, the Ingalls family pack up their belongings and venture out west in search for new life in the new land. Starring Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert, watch this family of five adjust to their new home in Plum Creek, on the plains of Minnesota. 

Made in Chelsea: Follow the sensational lives, loves, and careers of eight high society friends who live in London’s most affluent neighborhoods.   

Murder, She Wrote: Join mystery writer Jessica Fletcher (played by legend Angela Lansbury), as she solves crimes in this Emmy-winning drama.   

Saved by the Bell: Share the inventive schemes and mischievous dreams of these tight-knit friend groups. Watch them grow from Bayside High in Saved by the Bell to after graduation in The College Years, and later with the next generation in The New Class.

TNBC: Rediscover these laugh-out-loud fan-favorite sitcoms from Teen NBC. These timeless stories about the highs and lows of growing up are relatable for any audience, young or old. Series include: Punky Brewster, City Guys, Hang Time and Major Dad.  

The Lone Ranger: The masked cowboy known as the Lone Ranger, and his trusty accomplice Tonto, fight for justice in the Wild West. 

Universal Action: Buckle up and hold on tight! Helicopters, fast cars, and fight scenes are packed into this channel. Here you’ll find riveting shows that are sure to get your heart pumping and adrenaline flowing, such as Magnum P.I., Knight Rider, The A-Team and many others.  

Universal Crime: Mystery, suspense, and action culminate in these notable drama series. From the scene of the crime to the courtroom, follow along with some of your favorite stars as they fight for justice to be served. Series include: Columbo, Kojak and The Rockford Files

Universal Westerns: Cowboys, gunslingers, and outlaws roam the Wild West in these series. Get swept away by these classic tales of heroism and family adventure set against scenic frontier backdrops, such as The Virginian and Tales of Wells Fargo.  

Universal Monsters: Blood-sucking vampires, stitched-together monsters, and howling werewolves. From iconic monster movies to modern classics, these films are guaranteed to give you goosebumps, which include titles such as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Wolf Man.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.