Comcast to Launch Internet TV Service Dubbed Stream

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts

For $15 per month, Stream will let the cable giant's Xfinity broadband customers watch about a dozen networks.

Cable giant Comcast said early Monday that it plans to launch a streaming TV service dubbed Stream.

It will let its Xfinity broadband customers, for $15 a month in addition to their Internet bill, watch about a dozen networks via laptops and mobile devices, including the major broadcast networks and HBO. It will also offer on-demand content and a cloud-based DVR.

Importantly, the focus on Xfinity customers means that the service will not be available to people who don't live in areas serviced by Comcast.

A beta version of Stream will launch in Boston at the end of the summer before adding Chicago and Seattle before year-end. Comcast, led by chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, said it expects to offer Stream across the U.S. by early 2016.

Matthew Strauss, Comcast's executive vp and general manager, video services for Comcast Cable, said in a blog post that the cable giant wanted to be "much, much, much more surgical" in how it targets services. Stream would be aimed at younger audiences, he said. 

"The way we watch TV has become more personal than ever," Strauss explained. "I like to watch live on the big screen in my living room. My kids, on the other hand, prefer to catch up with their favorite shows on their laptops, on demand." He added that the new streaming service "furthers our goal to provide TV choices for everyone."

He also said: "We want to make ordering Stream as easy as buying a song online. And make tuning in to a show as simple as opening an email."

Concluded Strauss: "It’s an exciting time to be a TV fan  there is more quality content than ever and seemingly limitless ways to keep up with all the shows and movies people are talking about. We’ll continue to experiment by creating offerings like Stream, so that users can choose the service that works best for them. So if you love TV and spend most of your time with the screen in your lap as opposed to the one on the wall, Stream may just be the thing for you."

Twitter: @georgszalai