Charter CEO bullish on Comcast Streaming Video joint venture – Media Play News

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Erik Gruenwedel

Charter Communications President and CEO Tom Rutledge has high hopes for the upcoming Charter and Comcast Cable joint venture announced in April.

The joint venture aims to provide video app developers, streamers, retailers, carriers and hardware manufacturers with a platform to better reach their customers in key markets nationwide.

Comcast would license Flex, its aggregate streaming platform and hardware to the joint venture, XClass TVs, the company’s branded smart TV platform and include Xumo, the ad-supported streaming service it acquired in 2020. Charter is funding the company with $900 million over several years.

With a “build it and they will come” marketing mindset, Charter and Comcast say third-party content distributors would gain access to a larger retail footprint – in exchange for a royalty and a share. advertising revenue.

Charter CEO, Tom Rutledge

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs + Technology conference on September 14 in San Francisco, Rutledge said the joint venture gives businesses the ability to monetize video and create an advertising and transactional business that directs consumers to content and media companies get more customers.

Of course, delivering the platforms to end users requires high-speed internet access, which Charter and Comcast dominate the market.

“We will make new investments to attract advertisers and content carriers and get us to sell their content on this platform,” Rutledge said. “So, yeah, we’re going to roll that out.”

Charter and Comcast combined have over 62 million broadband subscribers, representing over 66% market share. The companies have more than 35 million combined pay-TV subscribers.

“If you want to have a job, you need broadband. If you want to be entertained, you need broadband,” Rutledge said, adding that high-speed internet is nearly inflation proof.

“If you think of all the things, you could spend your money if you don’t have much, [high-speed internet] is the best value there is,” he said. “And we can make it even more valuable. I’m not really worried about our ability to interact with consumers and grow in a negative market environment.

Rutledge said voluntary subscriber churn (customers who don’t renew service) is still “incredibly” low.

“This is well below historical standards. Consumers still have money and unemployment is still low. I think our ability to sell to consumers will always be good. That said, we will still make rate increases,” he said.

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