Comcast has struck a deal with RLJ Entertainment to integrate British TV SVOD service Acorn TV into the set-top boxes of its 22.3 million pay TV homes.
Following similar integrations last year of streaming services including Netflix and YouTube, Xfinity TV users will be able to subscribe to Acorn TV for $4.99 and watch the service’s collection of Elizabethan period dramas and cheeky comedies natively on their Xfinity set-top, no pressing of the source button required.
Acorn TV is accessible in the home on Xfinity on Demand and out of the home via the Xfinity Stream App and portal.
It’s the first such pay TV integration for Acorn TV, which offers a selection of internationally sourced (mostly British) mysteries, comedies and dramas, most of which aren’t available to U.S. audiences any other way.
"Acorn TV's first set-top box SVOD launch, particularly to Comcast's large viewer audience, is extremely exciting and a key step forward on our strategic plan to increase our services' distribution footprints toward our objective of 1 million subscribers within 12 months," said Miguel Penella, CEO of RLJ Entertainment, in a statement.
“The addition of Acorn TV and its curated collection of standout international television provides even more choice to our Xfinity TV customers, giving them another way to watch their favorite series or discover new and classic programs,” added Michael Imbesi, Comcast Cable’s VP of movies and pay-per-view programming.
In February, AMC Networks—which already owns 26% of RLJ—offered to pay $16 million to buy an additional 27% of shares and assume majority control. RLJ founder Robert Johnson would retain 47% of shares.