A few weeks ago Comcast announced a new Xfinity TV app for Roku media streaming devices throughout its 50-million home footprint. The app is set to launch commercially sometime later this year.
Comcast who previously came out with Xfinity TV apps for mobile devices plans to launch the service on smart TVs from Samsung Electronics Co. The new app will offer most of Xfinity TV’s features, including access to live on-demand, DVR programming, and the X1 programming guide, on many of the latest Roku models.
However, features specific to the X1 IPTV set-top, such as the voice remote and sports app, will not be immediately available to Roku users.
While final pricing has not been set, Roku customers will not pay any extra fees for use of the Xfinity app during the beta phase.
Comcast’s decision to jump onboard with Roku
It took Roku years of lobbying efforts for Comcast to come onboard and put their TV apps on Roku devices. Comcast was cautious about moving their content to unmanaged devices in the past in fear of losing full control over the viewing experience.
But TV-provider’s attitudes have shifted dramatically over the past couple of years, thanks to the continuing explosion of smart devices. Smart phones and tablets have proven the staying power of media streaming in the market.
In the U.S. Roku has signed up major service providers, such as Charter, CenturyLink, TWC, and Dish Network.
Steve Shannon, GM and SVP of content and services for Roku commented There’s no question Time Warner Cable was way out in front on that one. But we have a lot of operator relationships now.
Despite competition from other competitors like Apple, Google, and Amazon, Roku’s devices commanded 49% of the U.S. market, easily beating Google’s Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV.
Roku roots for the success of TV just as much as TV-pay providers; Without the right content from TV providers and the customers who stream on a daily basis, Roku would be the one’s hurting not cable. I think it’s safe to say that Comcast and other TV-providers are in good hands.