Comcast has casted its hat into the streaming business to take on Dish’s Sling TV with its new streaming cable TV service – Stream.
For $15 a month added to the Internet bill, Xfinity Internet customers can watch shows from various networks via their smartphone, laptop and tablet. Stream will launch first in Boston, as a beta prototype, by summer’s end. It’ll be seen in Chicago and Seattle before the year’s end. Comcast said it will offer Stream to its Xfinity customers all throughout the U.S. in 2016.
Subscribers can use the service to watch shows from Fox, NBC, HBO and other networks but only inside their home. Along with live TV, the company said its service will include on-demand movies, access to its TV Everywhere service that allows pay-TV subscribers access to apps that generally need a cable subscription and a cloud DVR that enables users to stream their recorded shows via their devices.
Comcast Executive Vice President Matthew Strauss said the company is attempting to become “much more surgical” in how the products are targeted. He said Stream is geared toward younger consumers who’d rather watch TV without having to pay for a cable or satellite TV provider. Strauss said changes are certainly occurring in the TV market. He noted that no everyone wants to pay for a full pay-TV bundle.
While Stream is similar in many respects to Sling, there are some differences. Sling offers consumers access to various cable networks like AMC and ESPN. The only cable network offered with Stream is HBO. Sling can be accessed anywhere whereas Stream can only be streamed via the home’s Wi-Fi.
Last year, an article from the Wall Street Journal noted that Comcast had been talking with Apple about the production of a set-up box that would take advantage of the priority Internet traffic. However, talks are said to have broken down. Apple is thought to be creating its own Internet TV service. Comcast’s Stream may be the company’s attempt to cover its basis, bringing together its traditional TV packages to bring in money from cable subscribers and cord cutters.