Market Overview

New Comcast App Supports Live Streaming of ESPN, Other Channels

In a move that could send shivers up the spine of Aereo and other cord-cutting services, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) will allow users to stream select channels through a mobile device.

There's just one catch: the current channel lineup leaves a lot to be desired.

According to Variety, the new Xfinity TV Go app will support the following channels:

  • BBC World News
  • beIN Sport
  • beIN Sport Español
  • Big Ten Network
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN3
  • ESPN Deportes
  • ESPNews
  • ESPNU
  • Fox Business Channel
  • Fox News Channel
  • Fox Sports 1
  • FX
  • FXX
  • Golf Channel
  • HLN
  • MSNBC
  • National Geographic Channel
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • NBC Sports Network
  • Pac-12 Networks

That's a lot of networks, but note that there are six versions of ESPN, two versions of FX, and a plethora of news channels.

Comcast promises more will be added in the coming months, but it could be difficult to get the primetime networks to sign up.

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CBS (NYSE: CBS), for example, is not a big fan of online video. The network was one of the last to offer current season episodes on its website.

CBS has fought against a full-fledged deal with Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Hulu, opting to deliver select shows -- and select seasons -- instead.

Disney's (NYSE: DIS) ABC is still a big part of Hulu, thanks to pre-existing contracts and the fact that Disney owns a third of the site. But ABC has been actively promoting its own website, ABC.com, for current season episodes of its shows.

NBC, which was acquired by Comcast a few years ago, is mysteriously absent from the new Xfinity app. It is a strange omission, to say the least. If Comcast subscribers stream the same live TV that they can get at home, what's the big deal? Why make consumers wait for access to this network, which needs every viewer it can get?

It's not as if NBC is opposed to live streams of its biggest sporting events. Virtually every event at the London 2012 Summer Olympics was streamed online -- in real-time!

The same cannot be said for NBC's biggest shows (and biggest flops). Unless viewers are willing to wait 12 hours after the original airdate -- then almost every NBC show is available to watch for free online.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis@benzingapro.com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: ABC Aereo BBC World News beIN Sport beIN Sport Español Big Ten Network CBS CNBC cnn Comcast disney Disney Channel Disney Junior Disney XD ESPN ESPN Deportes ESPN2 ESPN3 ESPNews ESPNU Fox Business Channel Fox News Channel Fox Sports 1 FX FXX Golf Channel HLN MSNBC Nat Geo Wild National Geographic Channel NBC NBC Sports Network Pac-12 Networks Variety Xfinity Xfinity Go TVNews Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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