Charter Communications and Comcast Corporation announced the formation of a 50-50 joint venture to develop and offer a streaming platform for users of 4K streaming devices and smart TVs.
Charter has more than 32 million customers in 41 states through its Spectrum brand. Comcast has 57 million customers across the United States and Europe.
The joint venture will offer app developers, streamers, retailers, operators, and hardware manufacturers the opportunity to reach customers in the United States.
Comcast will license Flex, its streaming platform and hardware to the joint venture, contribute the retail business for XClass TVs and also will contribute Xumo, a streaming service it acquired in 2020. Charter will make an initial contribution of $900 million, funded over multiple years.
The XClass TVs will be available through retail partners and direct from Comcast and Charter to provide more customer choice. Xumo will to operate as a free global streaming service available through the joint venture’s products and third-party devices.
Charter will offer the 4K streaming TV devices and voice remotes beginning in 2023. Comcast will continue to offer the Flex streaming platform as a streaming device and service to its customers.
“These products are all designed to make search and discovery across live, on-demand and streaming video seamless and incredibly simple for consumers,” said Dave Watson, CEO of Comcast Cable. “This partnership uniquely brings together more than a decade of technical innovation, national scale and new opportunities to monetize our combined investment.”
“As the video landscape continues to evolve, this venture will increase retail consumer options, compete at scale with established national platforms, and join our existing lineup of options for the Spectrum TV App available on most customer-owned streaming devices,” said Tom Rutledge, Charter Chairman and CEO.
This joint venture does not involve the broadband or cable video businesses of either Comcast or Charter which will remain independent.