If a new report is to be believed, Comcast is developing a new nationwide TV streaming service much like DirecTV Now to get a footing in markets that it doesn’t serve currently like Los Angeles and New York. Comcast is said to have obtained nationwide TV channel rights from several cable networks that have not been named in the report.
Comcast apparently doesn’t plan on offering a service immediately but it’s holding on to the rights which will come in handy if and when it decides to do so. That decision will probably depend on how AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Dish’s Sling TV perform in the United States. Both have been out for quite some time now and have a lot of paying subscribers.
The company did say recently that an over-the-top streaming service is not currently a priority. “There is significantly more upside and profitability in going deeper and deeper into our base versus following a video-only offering OTT,” said Comcast VP Matt Strauss recently.
However, Bloomberg reports that the company negotiated these rights during its recent carriage negotiations with cable and network broadcasters just to have those rights in the bag if it ever decides to come out with a similar service at any point in the future.
Before it does that it’s going to have to acquire nationwide streaming rights from partners like CBS and ESPN as well so that might prove to be challenging if it has to renegotiate long-term contracts with those partners.