Comcast to expand streaming service amid cord-cutting trend

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is preparing to rebrand and develop a streaming video option for broadband subscribers who do not want to pay for a conventional cable package, sources told Reuters on Monday. The service, called Xfinity Instant TV, will be priced as low as $15 a month to approximately $40 a month, sources said. It will include major broadcast networks as well as sports channels like ESPN and Spanish language channels such as Telemundo and Univision.

Xfinity Instant TV is predicted to be accessible in the third quarter to more than 50 million homes within Comcast's footprint, which includes cities such as Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. The company is transitioning its video offerings to be more targeted as viewer habits progress. Xfinity Instant TV will be geared towards at high-speed Internet subscribers who cannot afford or do not want to pay for bigger cable bundles, sources said. The hope is that subscribers will eventually upgrade to Comcast's X1 platform.

Comcast has already given a $15-a-month streaming video service known as Stream a trial run in Boston and Chicago, sources said. Xfinity Instant TV is a refurbished version of that offering and will be launched nationwide in Comcast's territories. Other pay-TV providers including Dish Network Corp and AT&T Inc have begun online streaming services for “cord cutting” consumers, or those who are dropping their cable packages for other options. Comcast's service is unique because it is limited to its territories and to its own broadband subscribers. It has yet to offer an over-the-top streaming service more broadly nationwide.

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