An online TV service from Comcast? "It's coming," said Comcast CFO Mike Cavanaugh.
Speaking at the UBS 44th annual Global Media and Telecommunications conference in New York on Wednesday, Cavanaugh suggested the "higher level of ongoing competition" – including new internet delivered services like DirecTV Now and Sling TV (from Dish) - was pushing Comcast to think outside of its traditional box, to reach younger viewers who prefer a laptop screen to a big TV. "You've got to be thinking ahead . . . you don't even know what it needs to look like; you should expect that there's going to be tough competition in the future."
Comcast has already plunked a couple toes into streaming TV waters, with its TV Everywhere offerings for current customers, plus the ad-supported Watchable app and Xfinity on Campus. Additionally, Comcast's NBC Universal unit owns 30 percent of Hulu, a streaming service ramping up with original content for a bigger fight against Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Comcast has also made recent deals to embrace streaming competitors, by offering Netflix and Sling TV content through its X1 platform and set top box.
No timetable was given by Cavanaugh for Comcast's move into a standalone online service. His conference remarks were first reported by homemediamagazine.com.