Cable Giants Comcast and Charter Team Up on Streaming Devices

Comcast and Charter Communications, America’s two largest cable companies, said Wednesday they would team up to offer set-top boxes for video streaming to customers using their combined reach to better compete with established players like Roku and Amazon.

Connected TV, which allows users to watch movies and shows on the Internet, is booming. The growing use of streaming services and the growth of advertising on these platforms have made the Connected TV market a competitive arena in the battle of consumer attention.

Comcast, which owns and operates the NBC Universal and operates the Xfinity cable brand, has made strides in the field over the past decade, developing the X1, a set-top box system that allows customers to stream video and connected XClass TVs, sold by Walmart. TV. With an operating system developed by Cable Giant. Comcast also operates Xumo, an ad-supported streaming application available on Connected TV that allows customers to watch some live TV in addition to on-demand shows.

The partnership between Comcast and Charter, which owns the Spectrum cable brand, is designed as a 50-50 joint venture in which Charter will distribute streaming devices based on Comcast’s technology, the companies said. The charter will contribute $ 900 million over several years to the venture, which is yet to be named.

Although Comcast and Charter have a long-standing presence in the connected TV market, the partnership will allow both companies to continue expanding their market share and make their services more attractive to customers, potentially reducing the number of subscribers.

Rich Greenfield, a partner at analyst firm Lightshed, said the venture could lead to a national beachhead for Comcast and Charter, which is largely with him, and has allowed Roku to become a dominant player in the connected TV market.

Mr. Greenfield also said the deal should put an end to speculation that Comcast might acquire Roku.

“Comcast and Charter have been the gatekeepers of the world of broadcast and cable networks for the last 30 years,” he said. Greenfield said. “And they have allowed all these tech companies to be gatekeepers of the connected TV world. And finally, in 2022, these companies are finally waking up and realizing that they have basically missed out on this whole opportunity. “

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