Matt Strauss, executive vice president for video services at Comcast, said during a conference in November that an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service isn’t really a priority for them. Instead, there’s significantly more upside and profitability in going deeper and deeper into their base first versus putting out an OTT offering.
While it may not be a priority, the idea isn't off the table entirely.
Sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg that Comcast has acquired rights from some cable network owners to sell video service outside of their regional territories. This, the publication says, gives Comcast the option to offer online streaming service in regions where it doesn’t offer traditional cable TV like Los Angeles and New York City.
If Comcast were to change its mind and offer an OTT service in the coming years, the company would need to renegotiate some long-term contracts to allow for online streaming. Current deals with CBS and ESPN, for example, don’t expire before 2020 (and neither allow for OTT transmission).
Comcast at this point would be late to the OTT game as there are a number of established streaming TV services already on the market including Sling TV, DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue. Hulu and YouTube have also announced streaming TV services.
In the meantime, Comcast is likely focusing its efforts on launching its own wireless service which is expected to debut by mid-2017.