Comcast and Charter Communications are working together to create a new streaming platform, the cable giants said Wednesday. They’ll develop a stable of streaming products described as “a next-generation streaming platform on a variety of branded 4K streaming devices and smart TVs, providing consumers with a world-class user experience and navigation, all the top apps, and more choice in the streaming marketplace.”
Charter is making an initial $900 million investment while Comcast is licensing its Flex platform, spearheading retail efforts for XClass TVs and bringing in Xumo, a streaming service it bought in 2020. Currently, the Flex streaming TV box is available to Xfinity customers. The voice-controlled, 4K device enables users to watch a variety of films and shows or stream apps such asand the Comcast-owned Peacock.
Charter will roll out the 4K streaming devices and voice remotes in 2023. The XClass smart TVs will be available through retailers nationwide, with the potential for Comcast and Charter to sell them directly to consumers. There are no plans to change Xumo, the free ad-supported streaming service, and its global operations. Users will be able to watch its 200 live-streaming channels and its library of movies and shows. The current Comcast Flex service will remain available.
Last year, it was rumored that Comcast would move into the retail space with its Flex box as its entry into the national streaming player market. With Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV devices dominating the field, Comcast seemingly wants a piece of the pie.
The team-up will provide a streaming experience that gives customers “access their favorite apps, based on Comcast’s Flex product.” This joint venture does not involve the broadband or cable video businesses of either Comcast or Charter, which will remain independent, the companies noted.