Charter Communications and Comcast on Wednesday announced a 50/50 joint venture to develop a new streaming platform for branded 4K streaming devices and smart TVs.
Comcast will license Flex, the company’s aggregated streaming platform and hardware, to the new venture, contribute the retail business for XClass TVs as well as Xumo, a free ad-supported streaming service acquired in 2020. Charter will make an initial contribution of $900 million, funded over multiple years.
The new platform will feature hundreds of free content options through Xumo, which currently delivers more than 200 unique streaming channels. Comcast’s Peacock also will be featured on the streaming platform, alongside other popular apps.
The joint venture, which is subject to customary closing conditions, does not involve the broadband or cable video businesses of either Comcast or Charter — which will remain independent.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Charter to bring this platform and its award-winning experience to millions of new customers. These products are all designed to make search and discovery across live, on-demand and streaming video seamless and incredibly simple for consumers,” Comcast Cable CEO Dave Watson said in a statement. “This partnership uniquely brings together more than a decade of technical innovation, national scale and new opportunities to monetize our combined investment.”
Charter Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge added: “Our new venture will bring a full-featured operating platform, new devices, and smart TVs with a robust app store providing a more streamlined and aggregated experience for the customer. As the video landscape continues to evolve, this venture will increase retail consumer options, compete at scale with established national platforms, and join our existing lineup of options for the Spectrum TV App available on most customer-owned streaming devices.”