NBC launches quasi-authenticated channel on Roku

NBCUniversal Content Distribution launched a new dedicated Roku channel that builds on the company's TV Everywhere initiative. And, interestingly, some of NBCUniversal's content on its Roku channel does not require users to authenticate their pay-TV service in order to view it.

NBC is allowing all Roku owners to stream, on demand the day after they initially air, episodes of its new fall series including Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick HarrisBlindspotHeroes RebornTruth Be Told and The Player.

NBCU is also letting all Roku users stream full episodes and clips of NBC late night programming, which includes the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. NBC is also culling clips from 40 years of Saturday Night Live.

Roku customers who can produce a pay-TV username and password can stream full episodes of returning favorites, including The VoiceThe BlacklistChicago FireChicago P.D. and  Grimm.

For NBCU, the model represents somewhat of a hybrid solution: It's letting a broader base of viewers sample its new shows, but it's leaving itself a position with pay-TV operators in retransmission talks by not taking all its programming out of the pay-TV ecosystem, a la CBS All Access. It's also giving a nod to pay-TV subscribers -- they can access the full flora and fauna of NBC programming over-the-top without having to pay for Hulu

Meanwhile, NBC is addressing, at least to some degree, its late-night viewership issues -- NBCU CEO Steve Burke said earlier this year that a significant amount of late-night viewership on the Peacock Network is leaking out via clips on social networks. 

"We want our shows available where our viewers are watching content. As consumers shift to connected devices, we are committed to working with platform partners like Roku so our fans and audiences interested in entertainment can discover, engage with and watch our shows," said Rob Hayes, Executive Vice President of NBC Entertainment Digital.

For more:
- read this NBCUniversal press release

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