Partnering with software vendors is fairly common practice for large hardware manufacturers. Laptop makers frequently pre-install bloatware in return for some sizable payouts and smartphone OEMs are no different. Samsung is now installing McAfee antivirus software on its 2019 TV lineup.
Samsung is claiming something to the effect of wanting to protect users from malware. On the surface that makes sense, but Samsung is running its very own Tizen OS on all TVs. Instead of adding more junk to a TV, why not just improve the OS? The answer though is self-explanatory. Samsung would not receive a payout from McAfee if it did not install the unneeded software.
Officially, here is Samsung's statement on the matter.
McAfee extended its contract to have McAfee Security for TV technology pre-installed on all Samsung Smart TVs produced in 2019. Along with being the market leader in the Smart TV category worldwide, Samsung is also the first company to pre-install security on these devices, underscoring its commitment to building security in from the start. McAfee Security for TV scans the apps that run on Samsung smart TVs to identify and remove malware.
Downloading and installing apps on most TVs is a tedious process that most users are not doing very frequently. Well known apps such as Netflix and Hulu come pre-installed on most TVs regardless of brand, making it unnecessary for most users to ever even look at what other apps are available.
It may not be a big deal to have extra bloatware on a TV, but it is something undesirable and might burn a little more power for no actual benefit. If someone is going to take the time to target Tizen with malware and knowing that McAfee is pre=installed, there is little reason to believe a developer would not take the extra time to ensure detection does not happen.