Another streaming platform from major legacy players is on its way.
The two largest cable companies, Charter Communications and Comcast, have formed a 50/50 joint venture to develop a next-gen, national streaming platform on 4K streaming devices and smart TVs.
Comcast will license Flex, its aggregated streaming platform and hardware (shown), to the venture, and contribute the retail business for XClass TVs and Xumo, a streaming service it acquired in 2020.
Charter will make an initial contribution of $900 million, funded over multiple years.
The XClass TVs will be available through national retail partners and potentially direct from Comcast and Charter.
Xumo will continue to operate as a free global streaming service available through the joint venture’s products and third-party devices.
Charter will offer the 4K streaming TV devices and voice remotes beginning in 2023. Comcast will continue to offer the Flex streaming platform as a streaming device and service to its customers.
Through Flex, the new products will offer a state-of-the-art streaming experience for accessing a wide variety of popular apps, NBCUniversal’s Peacock streamer, and Xumo’s more than 200 free, ad-supported services, according to the companies.
“Our new venture will bring a full-featured operating platform, new devices, and smart TVs with a robust app store, providing a more streamlined and aggregated experience for the customer,” stated Tom Rutledge, Charter Chairman and CEO.
“As the video landscape continues to evolve, this venture will increase retail consumer options, compete at scale with established national platforms, and join our existing lineup of options for the Spectrum TV App available on most customer-owned streaming devices.”
The new products are “designed to make search and discovery across live, on-demand and streaming video seamless and incredibly simple for consumers,” said Dave Watson, CEO of Comcast Cable, adding that the venture “brings together more than a decade of technical innovation, national scale and new opportunities to monetize our combined investment.”