Comcast's Strauss: MSO is testing Stream OTT service in Boston; launch is 'imminent'

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) video chief Matthew Strauss told FierceCable that the company is conducting beta trials of its new streaming skinny bundle, dubbed Stream, in Boston. He also said that a broader launch of Stream is "imminent."

Strauss' comments come after a recent report from TVPredictions that said Comcast has not yet launched Stream. TVPredictions quoted an unnamed company spokesperson who told the publication that Stream "hasn't launched in Boston or other markets yet."

In July, Comcast said it would launch the $15-a-month Stream service in Boston "at the end of the summer." The company said it would then launch the service in Chicago and Seattle, "with plans to make it available everywhere in our footprint by early 2016."

Strauss didn't indicate how many Boston-area users are involved with Comcast's Stream trial.

Earlier, Strauss said the new streaming service would provide about a dozen networks, including all the major broadcast channels and HBO. He added that Stream will work across laptops, tablets, phones and living-room OTT devices, but will only be available to existing Comcast Internet subscribers.

Comcast is among several top cable companies experimenting with low-cost over-the-top services targeted to broadband-only users. Not only do these products have the potential to tap into an unexploited portion of the consumer market, they have little marginal-cost per subscriber and require no truck rolls.

Endgadget recently reported that Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) is in trial with a similar product, offering 20 channels and a Roku 3 box to customers for $10 a month.

And according to some company documents and reports from DSLReports, Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) is also handing out Roku 3 devices in the Midwest while experimenting with a $20-a-month streaming skinny bundle.

All of this activity probably stems from Dish Network's (NASDAQ: DISH) successful deployment of Sling TV in February. Dish hasn't offered up any subscriber metrics. But more and more, Sling is factoring into Dish's long-term video plans, and analysts speculate that uptake for the streaming service has been high. 

Related articles:
Comcast's Stream is MIA as cable rivals ramp up tests
Comcast to answer Sling TV with $15-per-month OTT pay-TV service, Stream
Report: TWC's new streaming-only skinny bundle for NYC starts at $10/month, offers 20 channels

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