Industry sources confirmed that Comcast is eyeing a Q3 commercial launch of Xfinity Instant TV, an in-footprint, managed IPTV service that will feature a variety of packages and initially target broadband subscribers who don't take a pay TV package from the MSO. It will include the major broadcast networks, with optional add-on packages for sports or Spanish-language programming, and bundles will run $15 to $40 per month. Sources close to the company have revealed that the service is likely to hit the market in the third quarter with more than 50 million homes within Comcast's trace being the first beneficiaries.
Xfinity Instant TV will target high-speed Internet subscribers who can not afford or do not want to pay for bigger cable bundles, Reuters said. According to sources, the impending Xfinity Instant TV is said to be a revamped variant of Stream.
Comcast's Stream service is only available in a handful of markets like now such as Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Hampshire. Another big part of the strategy is that Comcast hopes the skinny bundles become stepping-stones for subscribers to upgrade to full-blown pay TV.
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Sources tell Reuters that the service will be re-named "Xfinity Instant TV", will be priced between $15 and $40 per month, suggesting there will be more options than now available. This will violate net neutrality, but only in concept, not in law, notes The Verge. This would be a huge advantage for Comcast as its rivals' services count data caps. For instance, Dish Network's Sling TV has cushioned the company's subscriber losses, and Comcast could see a similar impact from its streaming service.
In theory, if this occurs, then it would be a violation of net neutrality rules as a company is favoring a streaming service - in this case its own - over others. The TV streaming service, in a bid to provide content on to PCs, tablets, and phones, has to pass via a broadband modem. "Therefore, Stream TV data usage will not be counted towards your XFINITY Internet monthly data usage", asserts Comcast on its support page.