Comcast to expand streaming service amid cord-cutting trend

Posted March 30, 2017

Reuters reported this week that the app-based Xfinity Instant TV will be priced starting at about $15 per month and include packages that could sell for up to $40 per month, and allow for add-ons such as ESPN. Sources close to the company have revealed that the service is likely to hit the market in the third quarter with more than 50 million homes within Comcast's trace being the first beneficiaries. Xfinity Instant TV is a rebrand of the existing Stream TV service, which has been offered in limited markets.

One thing that's going to set it apart from competitors like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue is that Xfinity Instant TV will only be offered to those who are already paying for the company's internet service.

Xfinity Instant TV will be launched with the expectation that subscribers will gravitate toward, and upgrade to Comcast's X1 platform over time.

According to Reuters, the latest United States "skinny bundle" offering will be a revamped version of the US$15-a month streaming service, called Stream, that Comcast is now trialling in Boston and Chicago. Xfinity Instant TV is a revamped version of that offering and will be rolled out nationwide in Comcast's territories. A new report states that it may not have so much variance from the older service.

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That said, there are a few caveats to the Xfinity Instant TV service spotted by our sister-site Variety that are worth highlighting.

Comcast recently has concluded its proposed acquisition of certain useful assets of Icontrol Networks Inc., a major developer of Internet-of-Things (IoT) and smart-home products.

Is Comcast breaking net neutrality rules? Although the service would not count against a customer's data caps, it would still favor the company's own streaming service over anything else. The TV streaming service was enabled to provide content onto PCs, tablets and phones and they have to pass via a broadband modem.

"Stream TV is a cable streaming service delivered over Comcast's cable system, not over the Internet". Stream TV is $15 per month and is available only on mobile devices.