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October 28, 2021
Comcast and Apple have forged a streaming deal that spans multiple apps and multiple platforms in the US and Europe.
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts announced on today's Q3 2021 earnings call that the Apple TV+ and Apple TV app will be coming to both Xfinity customers in the US and to Sky customers in Europe. That piece of the deal covers access to Apple's apps on Comcast's X1 and Flex boxes and the company's new line of XClass TVs. The new pact also covers access on Sky's family of Sky Glass smart TVs and SkyQ set-top boxes.
Figure 1: The new deal paves the way for Apple's apps to become accessible on a new lineup of smart TVs from Comcast and UK-based Sky. Pictured is Comcast's XClass TV, a 4K-capable set manufactured by Hisense.
(Image source: Comcast)
The agreement also clears the way for Comcast to offer its Xfinity Stream app and the Sky Go app on Apple TV devices.
Precise timing wasn't announced, but Comcast confirmed to Light Reading that Apple TV+ will launch on its platforms in the "coming months," and that the Xfinity Stream and Sky Go will make their way to Apple TV devices sometime in 2022.
The deal will certainly broaden the exposure of Apple TV+, the premium streaming service that launched in November 2019 and now grapples for market share with such other top SVoD services as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, NBCU's Peacock, Disney+ and Paramount+.
The new pact will also enable Comcast and Sky to distribute their respective pay-TV apps on another major TV streaming platform. Comcast's Xfinity Stream app is currently offered on compatible Amazon Fire TV devices, select smart TVs from LG Electronics and Samsung, and (in beta form) on Roku players and Roku TVs. Xfinity Stream is also supported on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
Gaining access to the Apple TV+ and the Apple TV app on Comcast and Sky devices will help to broaden the appeal of their respective smart TV products as they compete in the market with sets that run software and operating systems from the likes of Roku, Google, Samsung, LG and Vizio.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
Senior Editor, Light Reading
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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