Charter and Comcast announced today a joint venture to develop a new streaming platform “providing consumers with a world-class user experience and navigation, all the top apps, and more choice in the streaming marketplace.”
For the new platform, Comcast will license Flex, its current streaming platform and hardware, along with the free streaming service Xumo which the company acquired in 2020, and the retail business for XClass TVs. Charter will contribute $900 million over multiple years.
In addition to free channels from Xumo, the platform will support the most-watched streaming apps in the marketplace, including Peacock, which will be featured alongside other apps.
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. The XClass TVs will be available through national retail partners and potentially direct from Comcast and Charter. By making XClass TVs widely available, Comcast and Charter will better be able to compete directly with Roku, Amazon, Google, and other smart TV manufacturers and operating system providers.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Charter to bring this platform and its award-winning experience to millions of new customers. These products are all 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. “This partnership uniquely brings together more than a decade of technical innovation, national scale and new opportunities to monetize our combined investment.”
“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,” said 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 joint venture does not involve Charter and Comcast’s broadband or cable video businesses.