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Report: Comcast in “advanced talks” to acquire streaming service Xumo

Comcast is in advanced discussions to acquire streaming TV service Xumo as the Philadelphia-based cable giant prepares to launch its own streaming service in the first half of next year.

The California-based streaming service offers more than 100 channels of on-demand content repurposed from YouTube and other online video websites. The linear channels are made available for free through smartphone apps, streaming set-top boxes and natively on LG and Panasonic television sets.

Comcast has several branded channels on Xumo, including one that aggregates NBC News content. CBS, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, PBS, Univision and Fox also have branded channels on Xumo.

Xumo primarily competes with Pluto TV, a similar streaming service that was acquired earlier this year by Viacom for $340 million. Both Pluto TV and Xumo are available to Comcast subscribers who have X1-enabled set-top boxes.

It isn’t clear why Comcast wants to acquire Xumo, though discussions have reached “advanced” stages, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Comcast is readying its own streaming TV service, Peacock, which will contain a mixture of TV shows and movies from NBC and Universal’s library of content.  Some reports speculated Comcast wants to relaunch Xumo as Peacock, leveraging the app’s platform and current distribution on smart devices.

Comcast is expected to formally unveil Peacock at an investor event next month.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).