Comcast acquires OTT application platform Metrological – report

Comcast Center headquarters in Philadelphia. Image: Comcast
Metrological’s app store includes access to a library of more than 300 apps. (Comcast)

AMSTERDAM – Comcast has reportedly acquired Metrological, an application platform developer that integrates OTT video services and other content into the pay TV experience.

nScreenMedia analyst Colin Dixon first reported the news and confirmed it through an unnamed source. It’s unclear what the financial terms were for the potential deal.

For Comcast, the acquisition is likely geared toward further integrating third-party streaming apps and offering a full app store on its X1 video platform, which Comcast also white-labels to other operators including Cox.

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As Dixon points out, X1 is built on RDK, an open source software platform for the connected home that standardizes core functions used in broadband devices, set-top boxes, and IoT solutions. But whereas a competing platform like Android TV has a large, built-in app store (Google Play), RDK does not.

RELATED: ARRIS and Metrological team for RDK Lab Accelerator set-top box

Approximately one year ago, RDK Management addressed this by launching a new app program to make it easier to develop and launch apps across RDK-based set-top boxes. The program lets service providers use the new RDK App Framework to build and manage their own solutions, or choose a RDK pre-integrated app store solution, which is the Metrological App Store.

Metrological’s app store includes access to a library of more than 300 apps. It can also be used to launch video apps including Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video; local and regionalized apps; and includes the back-office tools needed to launch and manage the lifecycle of an app store.

If Comcast does indeed acquire Metrological, the deal will strengthen Comcast’s position as an aggregator of traditional pay TV content (linear, VOD, PPV) along with SVOD services. Comcast has been one of the most active U.S. operators in terms of integrating SVOD applications into its platform. Comcast also recently launched Xfinity Flex, a service for its broadband-only subscribers that provides a set-top box that functions as an aggregated video streaming hub and a smart home control center.

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For now, it looks like Netflix and everyone else still have space to grow.

Flex, which Comcast recently made free for its subscribers, is a lot like X1 but not centered on Comcast’s linear video product.

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