DirecTV Now, Sling, other OTT operators are breaking even at best, Comcast CFO says

Sling TV
Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh reiterated Comcast’s strategy to integrate OTT competition into the cable operator’s X1 video platform. 
Mike Cavanagh CFO Comcast
Mike Cavanagh

Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh continued to make his company’s case that programming costs are too prohibitive to render a nationally streamed skinny bundle of channels profitable. 

The virtual MVPD products are “coming out of the gates with business model that are, at best, break-even,” Cavanagh said, speaking at the 45th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston.

“And the losses are going to get bigger, or the prices are going to go up, as programming costs rise,” he added. “Will that resonate with people trying out these products in the first instance?”

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RELATED: Comcast’s Watson: No margins in taking video outside footprint

Cavanagh’s comments came just a few business days after Comcast Cable CEO Dave Watson said pretty much the same thing at last week’s MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit.

“Every time we look at a business model outside our footprint, it just doesn’t make sense,” Watson said. “We have some programming rights, but they’re not complete ... If you want to go out and get all of the rights connected to it, it is very little to no margin."

For his part, Cavanagh reiterated Comcast’s strategy to integrate OTT competition into the cable operator’s X1 video platform. 

“We hope to drive it to a place where it’s more complimentary than not,” he said.

Meanwhile, addressing a wide range of topics, he also said it’s too early to draw any conclusions regarding Comcast’s entrance into the wireless biz. “We’ve learned nothing. It’s just too early. We only had the soft rollout to customers last week,” he said. 

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