Comcast unveils Now TV, offering 60 streaming channels and free Peacock subscription

Comcast on Tuesday revealed a new streaming video offering for Xfinity Internet customers, containing a series of linear TV and FAST channels and a free subscription to Peacock Premium.

The service, dubbed NOW TV, will cost $20 per month and include over 40 live TV channels from distributors such as A&E, AMC, Hallmark and Warner Bros. Discovery. It will also offer more than 20 free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels such as NBC News Now, Sky News and genre-based channels from Comcast’s Xumo Play.

The full list of available channels can be found here.

Comcast plans to launch NOW TV in the coming weeks, and customers don’t need additional equipment to use the service. Notably, the FAST channels are the same ones Comcast recently integrated into the Xfinity Stream app.

A Comcast representative told Fierce Video the operator will also offer NOW TV to current Xfinity TV customers who are looking to downgrade their service. At this time, Comcast has no plans to make NOW TV available to mobile customers, nor to non-subscribers within or outside the company’s cable footprint.

NOW TV, which brings SVOD, FAST and live TV under one umbrella, aims to be a “great companion” to Comcast’s broadband offering, according to Dave Watson, president and CEO at Comcast Cable.

“I think it opens up the notion of there will be the next generation of packaging opportunities,” he said at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications conference Tuesday, adding the product allows Comcast to “reimagine a more profitable way of delivering video.”

As for Peacock, NOW TV customers will be able to access their complimentary subscription on all devices where the streaming service is available. Comcast last week unveiled Peacock will stream the NFL’s first-ever exclusive live streamed NFL Playoff game in 2024, a deal that’s reportedly worth around $110 million.

Echoing CEO Brian Roberts’ comments from last week, Watson noted streaming offers “a new peak moment for broadband connectivity” as consumers up their internet consumption.

“We think we’re there for these peak moments…look at all those devices. You look at this sheer amount of engagement,” he said. “You have to ask yourself, where do you think broadband is going? You’ll continue to see more streaming, you’re going to see more video games, more applications.”

NOW TV isn’t Comcast’s only streaming venture. It’s partnered with Charter to develop a next-gen streaming OS – called Xumo – for smart TVs and 4K streaming devices. The product has yet to commercially launch, but the companies have said the release is slated towards late 2023.

Watson on Tuesday didn’t provide any updates on Xumo, but in terms of Comcast’s streaming strategy he thinks the company is “positioned well for today [and] where the network’s going.”

“We’re planning out capital I think in a very thoughtful way people can understand,” he said. “Doing that now with this new productivity and platforms growth…we’re getting prepared for where I think the customer is going, not where they’re at.”