After delay, Comcast's IP-based 'Stream TV' service launches in Boston

Comcast today announced it is launching its $15-a-month, IP-based Stream video service in Boston. The company said in July it would launch the service in Boston by the end of the summer, but that timeframe slipped slightly. However, Comcast reiterated that it remains on track to roll Stream out to its entire footprint "by early 2016," which is the same timeframe the company provided in July.

Stream TV is available to Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) Internet-only customers in the "Greater Boston Region," an area that includes eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. 

The service includes the major broadcast channels and HBO, as well as thousands of on-demand titles available through Xfinity. Users also have access to cloud DVR services.

Comcast has not specified which devices Stream TV can and cannot play on, saying only that the service is viewable on laptops, tablets and smartphones in the home. Out-of-home access is available through TV Everywhere authentication.

"We want to make ordering and accessing Stream TV as simple as possible for our customers and let them start watching favorite content as quickly as possible," said Matt Strauss, executive VP and GM of video services for Comcast Cable. "We'll continue to experiment by creating offerings like Stream TV so that users can choose the service that works best for them."

Comcast's Stream TV hits the market as another IP-based pay-TV product, Dish Network's (NASDAQ: DISH) Sling TV, has begun to establish solid momentum. Dish has not revealed much in the way of customer data for Sling, which launched in early February. But in scrutinizing Dish's third-quarter earnings, MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett estimated that the service is near 400,000 subscribers.

In fact, Sling's momentum in the marketplace apparently has become so established, it was recently revealed that leading over-the-top device maker Roku is giving service a dedicated button on its remote, right alongside Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) revealed earlier in the week that it has begun testing an IP-based service in New York City, albeit one with a full-sized programming bundle.

Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) is also testing an online video service in the Midwest. 

For more:
- read this Comcast press release

Related articles:
Comcast's Strauss: MSO is testing Stream OTT service in Boston; launch is 'imminent'
Comcast's Stream is MIA as cable rivals ramp up tests
TWC, CBS and others rush into an OTT future, but some strategies make way more sense than others

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