US cable operator Comcast has announced a beta test of a new, $15-a-month OTT cable service for its Xfinity customers, ‘Stream.’
It’s an interesting move from the US giant, and one that reflects widespread industry concerns about cord cutting and the accompanying trend for networks such as HBO to release their own standalone OTTs.
It’s a theme expected to dominate discussion at this year’s TV Xperience (October 6th-7th 2015, Hilton Times Square, New York), and something IP&TV News spoke to Ipsos analyst (and TV Xperience speaker) Gavin Bridge in depth about just last week.
“The fact you can now get TV without having to have the cable subscription is a big deal in the US,” Bridge told us, discussing the growth of OTT in the US. “It’s slightly different to the UK. No one in the US has every single channel, many don’t even have a DVR. It’s why people here are so petrified about cord cutting.”
The attempt to draw attention away from the growing number of standalones is clear. With Stream, Xfinity Internet customers can watch live TV from about a dozen networks – including all the major broadcast nets and HBO – on laptops, tablets and phones in their home. The service also includes thousands of on demand movies and shows and comes with access to TV Everywhere and a cloud DVR.