Xumo to become Charter's 'go-to' platform for new video sales

Charter is currently conducting field trials of Xumo products that stem from its national streaming joint venture with Comcast. Xumo products are on track for deployment by Charter later this year.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

July 28, 2023

3 Min Read
Xumo to become Charter's 'go-to' platform for new video sales
Close up the Spectrum offices in Denver(Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Stock Photo)

Products from Xumo, the Charter Communications-Comcast national streaming joint venture, are poised to take a central role at Charter starting later this year.


Xumo's platform runs on smart TVs and will be extended to streaming media players that are expected to launch later this year.
(Source: Xumo)

Together with Charter's Spectrum TV app, "Xumo will be our go-to market platform for new video sales," Charter CEO Chris Winfrey said today on the company's Q2 2023 earnings call.

He said Charter is currently conducting field trials of Xumo products and the company remains on track to start deployments later this year.

Xumo has already launched smart TVs that integrate a software platform that supports select pay-TV apps alongside direct-to-consumer streaming services linked to a unified search and discovery system that can take advantage of a voice-based remote. Xumo's product line will also include streaming media players.

Xumo "will be our platform of choice to deliver to our video subscriptions going forward and ultimately I expect us to provide that to some broadband customers over time as well," Winfrey said.

Charter will start to lean on Xumo products as it looks to control the pace of pay-TV losses. Charter is losing pay-TV subs at a slower rate than some of its US cable peers, but still shed 200,000 video subs in Q2 (-189,000 residential and 11,000 business) in the second quarter of 2023, better than the -238,000 loss expected by analysts. Charter ended Q2 with 14.07 million video subs.

By comparison, Comcast lost 543,000 US residential video subs in the quarter, dropping its total to 14.98 million.

Charter reaching 'point of indifference' on standalone video

Like Comcast, Charter is not chasing after video subs with steep promotions and is instead using more flexible packages and pricing that it hopes will resonate with different consumer segments.

Charter has also made some bold moves to fix issues related to pricey packages that include regional sports networks.

Charter recently announced it will soon launch its Spectrum TV Select package as two new services in parts of its footprint: Spectrum TV Plus (which includes RSNs) and Spectrum Select Signature, an alternative that will exclude certain sports programming at a reduced rate.

Spectrum TV Plus will also include access to local RSN streaming apps at no added charge and, where applicable, Charter might sell those DTC streaming apps to non-video subs as well. Charter also plans to launch new direct-to-consumer streaming versions of its own RSNs – Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum SportsNet LA, and make them available to other distributors.

The move enables Charter to provide lower-cost video packages to consumers who are not interested in RSNs, and puts Charter in position to sell more video, Winfrey contended.

Winfrey acknowledged that Charter is "at or near the point of indifference" regarding video services offered on a standalone basis, but will continue to focus on new ways to price and package services in a way that works for programs and reduces the rate of pay-TV cord-cutting.

"We're committed to trying to find a path forward for video, because we think it's a good product. We think it adds value to customers," he said.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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