Comcast Starting New Digital TV/Video Service For Unlicensed Content

Comcast Corp. is looking to join other traditional pay TV providers in launching a digital TV-video service focused on unlicensed, original video content, per a new report. 

The largest U.S. cable operator -- with some 22 million cable subscribers -- is working on a service called Watchable, according to Business Insider.

This follows news that Comcast, through its NBCUniversal division, made a $200 investment in digital media publisher Vox Media and is looking to announce a similar dollar investment in BuzzFeed. 

Watchable would focus on “unlicensed, original video content," which can viewed by a Comcast user with an Xfinity X1 set-top box. The service looks to be more in video competition with the likes of Google’s YouTube and Facebook.

Earlier this year, Dish Network launched a $20-a-month service called Sling TV, an over-the-top (OTT) service consisting of traditional TV networks and providers wrapped in a slimmed-down “skinny” TV bundle of channels. 

Telco TV provider Verizon is also looking to start up a new OTT digital service. 

Traditional pay TV providers continue to suffer from substantial declines in traditional video subscribers. In the second quarter 2015 period, pay TV providers dropped a net 625,000 subscribers, according to SNL Kagan. Proponents believe the traditional pay TV will continue to be a healthy business for some time -- still with around 100.4 million U.S. pay TV subscribers.



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