Today reports came out that Comcast plans to not support the Apple TV for their new streaming services. A source that talked with BESTAppleTV said: “Comcast is focused on the Now TV solution as the future of its streaming infrastructure and Apple has been told this.” That source went on to say, “Apple has also been informed Comcast will concentrate its efforts on this platform, not on adding other third-party devices to the product mix with separate apps.” While this is very possible there are a few issues with this report. The source also said, “It especially makes sense as Sky has a completely ready software and hardware solution for Roku that can be easily modified for mass distribution on every cable system in the country.”
The trouble here is NOW TV, the Sky TV streaming service in the UK is already available on the Apple TV. According to the NOW TV’s website, you can stream NOW TV on Chromecast, Roku, and 3rd gen and newer Apple TVs along with the NOW TV streaming players. (The NOW TV streaming players are a rebranded Roku with the NOW TV logo on them.)
Comcast did say in a comment to BESTAppleTV that “At this time, we have not reached terms with Apple to bring our Xfinity Stream app to Apple TV devices.” For some time now, Comcast has had a streaming app for Xfinity on Roku players and already has a tight relationship with Roku.
It would be a very strange move for Comcast to base their new streaming service on the NOW TV tech, but not want to use the already existing Apple TV app. For now, NOW TV reps are still pushing that they have Apple TV support with no plans to end NOW TV support of the Apple TV.
The question now is would Comcast stop supporting NOW TV on the Apple TV? Or it is also possible that NOW TV will still get Apple TV support in the UK, but not in the US. It could be that Comcast intends to roll out first on Roku, with additional device support added later, similar to how YouTube TV and Sling TV rolled out. Lastly, it is possible that negotiations were no longer needed with Apple if Comcast intended to use an app that was already approved by Apple. For now, all we have is rumors- we will have to wait and see how Comcast rolls out this new service.
We’ve reached out to BESTAppleTV for comment about NOWTV already supporting the Apple TV. We will update this story as we learn more.
UPDATE: We updated this story to remove redundancy.
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