Comcast Debuts Streaming Video to Take On Netflix

Posted by at 11:05 am on February 21, 2012

Comcast is planning to take aim at Netflix by adding its own streaming-video service that will give existing Comcast video customers a similar selection of old TV shows and movies over the Web.

The Philadelphia-based cable operator said Tuesday that the new service would be called Xfinity Streampix, and will be bundled with certain tiers of Comcast video service, and available for $4.99 per month to other Comcast video customers. Netflix’s streaming-video service costs $7.99 per month.

Comcast’s new service will include such shows as “30 Rock,” from its own NBCUniversal unit and “Lost” from Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, as well as movies like “Ocean’s Eleven,” from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. The programs, typically of prior seasons of shows, will be available on the Web and on mobile devices to subscribers in and out of the home, similarly to Netflix’s offering.

The new service, which will launch on Thursday, is separate from Comcast’s existing Xfinity TV offering, which gives a selection of newer shows to Comcast video customers in and out of the home as part of their standard video subscriptions.

Comcast is launching Streampix as competition heats up among potential Netflix competitors. Amazon.com Inc. has been striking deals for its own web-streaming service, which is bundled to customers who pay $79 a year for discounted shipping through Amazon Prime. Verizon also recently struck a deal with Coinstar Inc.’s Redbox to launch another new Netflix competitor.

Comcast finished 2011 with 22.3 million video subscribers, while Netflix reported 21.7 million subscribers to its online-streaming service, making it the second-most broadly subscribed video service in the U.S.

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