Cord cutters, Comcast is trying to draw you back in. The country’s largest cable provider is introducing a streaming service that includes a bundle of broadcast networks and HBO. Matt Strauss, Comcast’s executive vice president and general manager of video services, announced the news in a blog post on Comcast’s corporate site.
For $15 a month, Comcast Xfinity Internet subscribers can sign up for the new web-based offering, Stream, which will give them access to over a dozen channels, on demand movies and cloud DVR storage on their computers, tablets and phones. The streaming platform, currently in beta testing, will be launched in Boston later this summer, and will then expand to Chicago and Seattle. It will be available in all of Comcast’s coverage area by early 2016.
With this new service, Comcast is trying to attract younger audiences who are foregoing cable subscriptions in favor of standalone streaming services, which are usually cheaper. Stream is joining a long list of recently release streaming platforms: Dish Network has Sling TV ($20 a month for 20 channels, with the option of $5 add-ons), and CBS, HBO, and Showtime all have standalone apps that offer consumers access their programming.
“It’s an exciting time to be a TV a fan,” Strauss wrote. “There is more quality content than ever and seemingly limitless ways to keep up with all the shows and movies people are talking about. We’ll continue to experiment by creating offerings like Stream, so that users can choose the service that works best for them.”
There are a few drawbacks to the new service, however. As the New York Times notes, HBO is the only cable channel provided. That means no “The Walking Dead” from AMC, no “The Americans” on FX, and no “Key & Peele” on Comedy Central. Also, you can get the five broadcast networks—ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS and PBS—for free by purchasing a $25 high definition antenna. Furthermore, you can’t stream it on your television and it will only be available in areas where Comcast is a cable provider.