The announcement of Comcast’s new virtual MVPD service, Now TV, comes at a pivotal moment for the media giant. The pay TV giant’s Xfinity cable service can’t stop shedding subscribers. It lost 2.1 million subs versus Q1 2021, 3.8 million versus Q1 2020, and it’s down 5.7 million subscribers when compared with the number held in 2018. In comparison, broadband subscribers grew by 5.6 million over the last five years, even if growth has plateaued in the last year as Comcast reaches the limits of its geographic footprint.
Comcast is rolling out Now TV, a streaming offering aimed at what it calls “the value-conscious consumer who wants an entertainment product.” For $20 a month, the service includes more than 40 live channels, among them A&E, AMC, Hallmark and selections from Warner Bros. Discovery’s portfolio, along with 20-plus free, ad-supported TV (FAST) channels from NBC, Sky and Xumo Play. A subscription to Peacock Premium is also included at no extra charge. Now TV is available to customers paying for internet service from Comcast’s Xfinity brand.