Comcast Is Not Budging on Internet Video

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. That’s the motto for many cable operators when it comes to cord cutting. An increasing number of operators are now offering Web-based video in lieu of—or in addition to—traditional cable services.

Comcast, however, is not one of them.

At the recent ITNX trade show in Boston, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts told reporters that his company is steering clear of over-the-top (OTT) video, at least for now. The company has no consumer-focused OTT services in development.

What’s the reason? A major reason could be Comcast’s successful first quarter. The cable giant added 53,000 video subscriptions during that time. In light of this success, the company sees no reason to change its strategy and cater to the cord-cutting trend.

That is not to say, however, that Comcast is anti-streaming. Last year, for instance, Comcast introduced a streaming TV service—XFINITY Stream TV— for select Internet-only customers located in a limited number of markets. Yet while the service does not require a cable subscription or set-top box, it’s not Web-based. Stream TV is considered a managed service that runs over Comcast’s cable network, so it does not count against customers’ monthly broadband usage. By offering this type of service, Comcast is able to provide extra value for its broadband customers by granting them access to live pay TV.

Right now, Comcast is gearing up for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Comcast will provide access to the event over its interactive entertainment platform, X1—which is currently used by about 35 percent of its video subscribers.