Comcast Brings YouTube to the Living Room

In another sign of the growing integration between pay-TV and OTT players, Comcast plans to launch YouTube as an app on its X1 set-tops later this year.

Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

February 27, 2017

2 Min Read
Comcast Brings YouTube to the Living Room

In yet another acknowledgement that OTT video is here to stay, Comcast announced this morning that it will start offering YouTube on its pay-TV platform later this year.

The latest integration move by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), a long-time fierce opponent of OTT video, comes half a year after North America's largest cable operator began integrating Netflix into its X1 set-top platform. And it comes just three months after Comcast announced that it would integrate Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s Sling TV service into the X1 platform as well. Financial terms of the YouTube deal were not disclosed. (See Comcast Binges on Netflix in New Beta and Comcast co-opts cord-cutters with Sling TV.)

What the launch of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s popular YouTube service confirms is that major cable operators like Comcast are finally starting to see themselves as true video aggregators that will serve up video programming from anywhere, not just the broadcast/cable universe. The YouTube integration deal also shows that both cable operators and OTT providers see strong benefits to offering online video services over cable's highly managed proprietary networks, rather than the open public Internet.

As in the case of Netflix and Sling TV, Comcast plans to introduce an app for YouTube on its X1 set-tops later this year. That will instantly make YouTube available to nearly half of Comcast's 22.5 million video subscribers, enabling them to tap into YouTube without having to switch their input to another streaming device connected to their TVs. X1 customers will be able to browse and search YouTube's full library of video content, including hundreds of thousands of music video clips.

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Comcast will also integrate select YouTube content into its Xfinity on-demand service, offering it alongside the MSO's own VoD line-up and online programming. Further, Comcast will integrate YouTube content into its X1 voice remote system, allowing subscribers to search for YouTube videos with voice commands.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Alan Breznick

Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Alan Breznick is a business editor and research analyst who has tracked the cable, broadband and video markets like an over-bred bloodhound for more than 20 years.

As a senior analyst at Light Reading's research arm, Heavy Reading, for six years, Alan authored numerous reports, columns, white papers and case studies, moderated dozens of webinars, and organized and hosted more than 15 -- count 'em --regional conferences on cable, broadband and IPTV technology topics. And all this while maintaining a summer job as an ostrich wrangler.

Before that, he was the founding editor of Light Reading Cable, transforming a monthly newsletter into a daily website. Prior to joining Light Reading, Alan was a broadband analyst for Kinetic Strategies and a contributing analyst for One Touch Intelligence.

He is based in the Toronto area, though is New York born and bred. Just ask, and he will take you on a power-walking tour of Manhattan, pointing out the tourist hotspots and the places that make up his personal timeline: The bench where he smoked his first pipe; the alley where he won his first fist fight. That kind of thing.

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