Comcast has confirmed its interest in taking the X1 video platform that powers its cable and broadband devices and licensing it to smart TV manufacturers.
Speaking today at an investor event, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts verified earlier reports that his company is looking into taking on the smart TV market with its pay TV and video service aggregation software.
“We’re early days but we’re looking at smart TVs on a global basis, and we’re wondering if we can bring our same tech stack and certain capabilities in aggregation to consumers who are relying more and more on smart TVs,” Roberts said.
Comcast has already syndicated the X1 platform for other cable operators in the U.S. and Canada and Roberts said his company sees a similar roadmap to that for smart TVs.
Comcast’s work in using X1 to build and launch its Flex platform, which is provided to its broadband-only subscribers, will likely provide a jumping off point for potentially bringing X1 to smart TVs. Roberts said that now has more than 2 million Flex boxes deployed – up from one million in May – but he also said that only half of those devices are being used on a regular basis.
Roberts said Flex has helped contribute to Comcast’s strong broadband growth in 2020. He said that the second and third quarters combined are going to be better in terms of broadband net subscriber additions than anything that Comcast has seen in 10 years and that Comcast will “greatly exceed” the 1.4 million broadband net adds from all of 2019.
Roberts also provided some updates on how Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new ad-supported streaming service, has been performing since its nationwide launch in July. He said that Peacock now has more than 15 million signups and that the app is now one of the top three streaming services on both Comcast X1 and Flex.