PHILADELPHIA, Penn.—In an important example of how operators are adding streaming services to their platforms, Comcast has announced that it will be bringing Apple TV+ and the Apple TV apps to its Xfinity and Sky customers on a variety of devices.
Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast made the announcement during the company’s third quarter earnings call. No timeline was provided but Variety has reported that the Apple services will be added in the coming months.
“I'm pleased to also announce today that Apple will bring Apple TV Plus and the Apple TV app to our Xfinity and Sky customers on X1, Flex, XClass, Sky Glass and Sky Q devices and Comcast is bringing the Xfinity stream and Sky Go apps to Apple TV devices,” Roberts explained at the start of the earnings call. “We're working together with our partners to deliver the best apps and experiences on our platforms and our teams are sharing capabilities and collaborating across the company. Collectively, drawing on our scale and leadership in broadband, aggregation and streaming to innovate and profitably serve new and existing customers.”
Later in the call when asked about Comcast’s move into smart TVs with XClass and Sky Glass, Roberts stressed that the company wants to become an even bigger streaming player with a wider array of offerings and he explained that adding Apple TV+ was part of that effort.
“We -- the global technology platform, we do about 5 billion entertainment streams a week on 75 million devices,” Roberts said. “So we have a huge global scale. And one of the great things that we've been working on... is having a global technology platform….So to specifically talk about the connected TV -- streaming TV, which is what Sky Glass and XClass are really all about, I think it's a natural evolution. So I think it's a beginning of a logical extension.”
“It is really a breakthrough idea, I think on how people buy it and pay for it, but mostly it's a embodiment of what we do well, which is aggregation and that we're going to find a way for consumers to get to what they want faster, personalize it and have fun along the way,” he added. “And then it's a platform for innovation on a go forward basis for where we think television may evolve, and whether it's gaming, whether it's fitness, healthcare, education and so having that be part of your relationship with our company, I think is novel territory for us to do R&D off of.”
These efforts will also allow the company to expand beyond its traditional footprint. “In the US and finally, it allows us to take it all over Europe, potentially as you say in and out of footprint,” Roberts said. “So we're starting in the UK, but we have ambitions to expand quickly to other countries, and it's great for streamers and streaming services. So our importance to the streaming universe will continue to grow and our relationship and certainly the Apple announcement today is….the latest iteration of that.”
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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.