Comcast Launching OTT Streaming Service

Comcast is jumping into the over-the-top (OTT) streaming service market.  Just last week Showtime rolled out their OTT service in response to HBO NOW which launched earlier this year.  2015 is turning into the year of streaming as major broadcasters and content owners alike jump into the space.  Comcast will be offering their new service, aptly named ‘Stream‘, to Xfinity Internet customers.  The service is expected to launch in Boston by the end of the summer.  The company wants to make ‘Stream’ available in all Comcast markets by early next year.

Comcast Stream

Comcast’s Stream will include live streaming access to popular channels including CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and about a dozen channels in all.  Comcast will start to offer Boston Xfinity Internet customers the new ‘Stream’ service by the end of the summer.  From there they plan to launch Stream in Chicago and Seattle.  Comcast plans for a full roll out of Stream to every Xfinity Internet market by early next year.  That means if Comcast is currently your ISP you will have the option of their new OTT streaming service soon.  Stream will cost Xfinity customers $15 a month.

Why would cable or satellite subscribers switch to Stream?  The same reason cord cutters started moving to Sling TV earlier this year.  For starters the new service will cost just a fraction of what you pay for cable or satellite.  Not to compare the programming options.  Stream will include fewer channels but most people don’t want to pay for hundreds of channels they don’t watch anyway.  Stream will top Sling TV in some ways by including cloud DVR so users can record and watch shows at their convenience.  You will be able to access Stream from anywhere in the United States.  If you plan to travel outside the U. S. you should consider a Smart DNS service to knock out any geo-restrictions.

In comparing Comcast’s Stream to Sling TV we notice a couple areas that could leave Comcast behind.  The first is access to ESPN.  The most popular channel on TV is offered as part of Sling TV’s base $20 a month package.  Comcast will need ESPN to compete for sports fans.  Perhaps they will offer add-on channel bundles like Sling TV does for fans of different content.  We’ll all find out in the weeks and months to come.