Comcast integrates Xumo FAST channels into Xfinity Stream app

Comcast has integrated more than 20 free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels into its Xfinity Stream app for video and Internet-only customers, the company announced on Tuesday.

The channels include live news from NBC News and Britain-based Sky News along with 19 Xumo-branded linear streams that offer content from a variety of genres including comedy, lifestyle, unscripted, Black cinema, game shows and crime.

"The launch marks the latest evolution of the Xfinity Stream app, which is increasing content choices for video and non-video customers alike, including weekly samplings of premium programming as part of Free this Week, the ability to rent and buy shows and movies, and the ability to watch movies included in Xfinity Rewards," Vito Forlenza, the vice president of entertainment apps at Comcast, said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Comcast said the inclusion of the 21 linear streams is just the start for the Xfinity Stream app, and more channels are expected to be distributed through the service in the near future.

The linear feeds are powered by Xumo, the platform Comcast acquired in 2020 for around $100 million. Comcast now operates Xumo as a joint venture with Spectrum TV owner Charter Communications.

Comcast and Charter have big plans for Xumo, including the development of a streaming television platform that will square off with the likes of Roku and Amazon Fire TV for dominance in domestic living rooms. Comcast has already rechristened some of its streaming hardware, including its XClass smart TV sets and its Xfinity Flex set-top boxes, with the Xumo brand. The standalone streaming app now exists as Xumo Play.

Comcast and Charter are not keeping Xumo to themselves: Earlier this month, Xumo's Chief Revenue and Platform Officer Colin Petrie-Norris confirmed to Fierce Video that the platform was powering around 80 linear channels that recently became available to users of Google TV hardware without the need to download a separate app.

"Xumo is an enabler and has been working with Google on their native channels," Petrie-Noris said in an interview with Fierce Video, adding that the partnership is part of a product offered by Xumo Enterprise, which provides the FAST channels to those who seek to launch white-label versions of free streaming platforms, as Google did this month.

The placement of Xumo channels on Xfinity Stream isn't the first time Comcast has offered the brand's FAST channels to streaming customers: Early iterations of the Flex box offered live feeds of Sky News, Home Shopping Network (HSN) and QVC, and still do today. Software updates on the Flex box now allow users to launch even more FAST channels straight from their electronic program guides, including those powered by Pluto TV and others.

For now, the 21 Xumo-powered FAST channels will only be offered through Xfinity Stream, with a spokesperson confirming to Fierce Video that Comcast didn't have any news to share when it comes to whether those same channels will be available to its Xfinity pay TV customers.

That said, the Xumo FAST channels on Xfinity Stream are available to residential customers who have Comcast service, even if they don't have a pay TV package. Xfinity Stream is available on most streaming TV platforms, on phones, tablets and via the Xfinity Stream website.

Customers who don't have Xfinity service can still stream Xumo channels for free by downloading Xumo Play, which is available in many of the same places as the Xfinity Stream app.