Light Reading

Comcast Opens Live Streaming Spigot

Mari Silbey
3/19/2014
50%
50%

Further opening the valve on its live TV streaming efforts, Comcast is adding 18 linear TV channels to its recently relaunched Xfinity TV Go app.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s new live streaming roster includes TNT, TruTV, and TBS, which are showing NCAA men's college basketball tournament games this week. Other new networks in the Xfinity live streaming library include A&E, Bravo, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, E!, Food Network, HGTV, HISTORY, mun2, Oxygen, Sprout, STARZ, Syfy, Travel Channel, and USA Network. In total, Comcast now offers more than 50 live channels for viewing over WiFi links on its mobile app and the Xfinity website.

The live streams include popular sports and news programming from channels like ESPN, CNN, and MSNBC, but they don't include content from the four major broadcast networks, including Comcast's own NBC. Though the broadcast networks do offer some live linear TV programming themselves over the Internet, the shows are largely available through their own app and website properties. Ironically, broadcasters increasingly require authentication from a pay TV provider before providing access to their content online. This is true for the March Madness basketball games CBS is airing, as well as content on ABCs WatchABC app. (See ABC Joins Live TV Streaming Parade.)

Meanwhile, live streaming of linear television is growing more common across the industry. In response to customer interest, thePlatform Inc. , a Comcast subsidiary, updated its mpx publishing system last fall to accommodate the management of live TV alongside on-demand video. Its customers include Fox Broadcasting Co. and Comcast's own NBC Universal . (See thePlatform Places Live TV Bet.)

Even on the rights front, programmers appear to be warming up to the idea of streaming live video online. Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) recently signed a deal with Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) that will allow it to become the first US pay-TV provider to stream Disney, ESPN, and ABC networks to broadband-only subscribers. The agreement will help Dish launch its long-planned over-the-top video service, which should accelerate the live streaming trend even further. (See No Mickey Mouse Deal for Dish.)

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/20/2014 | 7:09:04 PM
Re: Second Screen
I agree there's lots of great content available on the web. And traditional television is taking a smaller and smaller role in people's entertainment budgets. But I don't see traditional television as disappearing, not until we start seeing hour-long scripted dramas, half-hour sitcoms, and reality series on the Internet. 

The transition is going to be long and gradual. Though it is well under way. 
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2014 | 10:19:30 PM
Re: Second Screen
I think it's all cost and convenience, guys. Cable may have the best content and best video quality but it's far more expensive than online video. So, if consumers can get much of what they want a lot cheaper and search for it a lot easier, cable is going to feel the impact. And I think it already is. 
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 7:16:30 PM
Re: Second Screen
That content is a sliver of what is avalible, though those shows are very popular I see many more people turning to web based content to get what they want, if that is the growing trend it will be an issue. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/19/2014 | 6:16:28 PM
Re: Second Screen
Cable content seems to be pretty popular nowadays: Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Walking Dead, etc. I don't think appealing content is the problem. 
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 6:07:07 PM
Re: Second Screen
I always come back to thinking that content is king, and if cable can not match the content that cutomers are fining online then I think any second screen play they make wont help attract new customers, I think it will just help them keep current subs. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/19/2014 | 5:52:58 PM
Re: Second Screen
Elsewhere today on Light Reading, we saw that pay TV lost subscribers year-over-year for the first time ever. Services like this, making pay TV more attractive to customers, can help stanch the flow. 
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 4:24:23 PM
Re: Second Screen
I agree that any time you can include something to add value that is a plus, and if cable can pull it off that is great. I have always said that no one is goign to be able to deliver a better quality video experience in the home than cable, and to this day I feel that is true. That being said content is king and if cable can not get their hands on the content their users want then its going to be an uphill battle. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2014 | 4:10:07 PM
Re: Second Screen
Parity with the big screen should be the goal, I think. If it's included, that's a really attractive model to a consumer and a reason to stick with cable.
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 3:30:59 PM
Second Screen
Seems like the fight for the second screen is heating up. And also starting to look like the first or primary screen.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Comcast Reportedly Dropping $45B TWC Bid
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/23/2015
Adtran Is Developing White Box GPON Tech
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/24/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Amazon Earnings: What to Watch For
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Cats Using Technology for Good, for Once Click Here