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NBC Boosts Digital Stacking Rights for Fall Shows, Will Stream ‘Good Place’ Full Season for Free

Network releases updated iOS app with Chromecast support, split-view screen

NBC has secured “stacking rights” to 90% of its fall TV show lineup, including “The Voice,” “Saturday Night Live” and “Superstore,” and will offer the five most recent episodes for free on its website and mobile apps — as well as full seasons to subscribers of participating pay-TV providers.

In addition, the Peacock will offer the entire season of freshman comedy “The Good Place” for free, without requiring pay-TV authentication; it’s the only freshman show NBC owns full rights to. “The Good Place,” created by Mike Schur (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Parks and Recreation”), stars Kristen Bell as a woman who unexpectedly discovers she’s dead and Ted Danson as the architect of the afterlife she now finds herself in. It premieres Sept. 19 on NBC.

For pay-TV subs, this season NBC will offer the 25 most recent episodes of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and daytime drama “Days of Our Lives,” up from the five previously. Other shows for which NBC has full stacking rights (offering five free and entire seasons authenticated) include “Blindspot,” Dick Wolf’s “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago P.D.,” and new shows including dramas “This Is Us” and sci-fi thriller “Timeless.” (Last season, NBC had stacking rights to about 60% of its shows.)

During the broadcast upfronts this spring, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt highlighted the network’s push to acquire stacking rights. “We’ve been able to work through successfully with the various studios on getting those stacking rights as we move forward,” he said. “It’s kind of the order of the day. The studios know it.”

Networks want to get full-season streaming and VOD rights to TV shows on their air, because that will help build audience for a show (especially a new show) over time. Studios, meanwhile, have believed that granting stacking rights to nets dilutes the value of a program for post-broadcast sales to the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

Meanwhile, ahead of the fall TV premieres, NBC this week released an updated and redesigned app for Apple iOS devices, its fourth major version.

The new NBC app for iOS now includes support for Google’s Chromecast, to “cast” video from mobile devices to the TV-connected dongle, along with Apple’s AirPlay in conjunction with an Apple TV box. NBC’s iOS app version 4.0 also sports a nifty split-view screen for the iPad. That lets users multitask to use two apps simultaneously, so you can watch a show and chat with friends at the same time.

In addition, the app allows users to share episodes across social networks, and includes a ten-second-rewind button. Also new: The NBC mobile app for iOS now works in both portrait and landscape orientation, the first broadcast network app to offer that feature.

As previously, NBC’s apps provide live feeds of local TV stations in select markets, accessible via a participating pay-TV provider. Local live-streaming is available in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Hartford, Conn., Dallas, Miami, San Francisco, San Diego and Bristol, Va.

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