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Comcast, Charter Tap Marcien Jenckes to Head New Streaming Venture

Comcast
(Image credit: Comcast)

STAMFORD, Conn. & PHILADELPHIA, Penn.—Charter Communications and Comcast Corporation have selected Marcien Jenckes as president of their recently announced streaming platform joint venture. Once the joint venture closes, Jenckes will focus on leading the team and developing the business and monetization models.

The joint venture will develop and offer a next-generation streaming platform on a variety of branded 4K streaming devices and smart TVs, the companies said. 

It will offer the two cable giants an opportunity to expand the streaming options available to customers in their existing broadband footprints and potentially provide them with a way to create a nationwide service to compete with the likes of Ruku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. 

As part of the joint venture, Comcast will license Flex, its aggregated streaming platform and hardware to the joint venture, contribute the XClass TV retail business, and contribute Xumo, an ad-supported streaming service it acquired in 2020. Charter will make an initial contribution of $900 million, funded over multiple years.

The appointment of Jenckes and the contribution of Xumo to the joint venture indicates that advertising will play a key role in the development of the new platform. 

“Marcien has been an outstanding leader within our company for over a decade,” said Dave Watson, CEO of Comcast Cable. “His blend of experience as an entrepreneur, as an expert in improving customers’ entertainment experience, and an innovator in the rapidly changing advertising environment, makes him uniquely qualified to helm this partnership with Charter.”

“Marcien has emerged as a leading voice within the media industry,” said Tom Rutledge, Charter chairman and CEO. “He has a future-focused view of the landscape, understands the importance of this partnership and is a great choice to lead the joint venture.”

Jenckes has served as president of advertising for Comcast Cable since 2017. Prior to this role, he was responsible for Comcast Cable’s residential lines of business, including video and Internet. He led the strategy, development, and deployment of innovative technologies and services across all categories to provide great experiences for tens of millions of customers.  

In 2019, Jenckes spearheaded On Addressable, along with Charter and Cox, designed to bring additional scale and momentum to addressable television advertising. He also pioneered Blockgraph, first incubated within Comcast’s FreeWheel, an advertising technology company serving the video and television ecosystem, before spinning out as a joint venture between Comcast, Charter and Paramount (formerly ViacomCBS), to help marketers use audience insights for TV and premium video advertising. 

Before joining Comcast, Jenckes was an entrepreneur, involved with a host of digital advertising and media syndication start-ups including Grab Networks and Voxant. He also held a variety of leadership roles at AOL Inc., where he launched AOL’s free web services, including the free AOL.com portal. Prior to AOL, Marcien worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company in their media and telecom practice.

The closing of the joint venture is subject to customary closing conditions. This joint venture does not involve the broadband or cable video businesses of either Comcast or Charter which will remain independent, the companies said. 

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.