In Wednesday’s Member Mailing “Why Apple's & Amazon's Advantages In Sports Streaming Are Over-Hyped”, I wrote that ”it may be worth keeping a closer eye on Comcast” because of recent rumors it wants to buy a Smart TV platform.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts addressed those rumors on its Q2 2022 earnings call in response to a question about his “level of confidence” that Comcast has growth opportunities “and the opportunity to create value”.
Roberts emphasized that the focus of the company is to “be able to return capital to shareholders” and so “our bar is therefore very high” to deploy capital to make any acquisitions. It reads like another way of saying that Comcast is certainly testing the waters, but management doesn’t yet have the case to make to shareholders for expanding its efforts in the Smart TV marketplace.
Notably, we only have various market signals as to what its intentions are here. A Twitter user in the UK highlighted for me one potential outcome: Comcast's Sky Glass Smart TV "seems like the first true attempt for Comcast to address that friction issue so going for TPV (who make the Glass tv) or Vizio actually makes real sense here now they have a single tech stack across Sky & XFinity.”
Comcast consolidating the technologies powering its Smart TV production makes sense in the U.K. for its Sky Glass product. But, to do so in the U.S. - where Comcast's Xfinity platform still seems to have a lot of competition in a market dominated by Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung (Conviva) - still invites reasonable questions.
Another notable takeaway from Comcast's earnings call is that Peacock growth stayed flat at 27 million MAAs and 13 million paid subscribers in the U.S.
The bet seems to be that the numbers will grow when the next-day broadcast becomes exclusive after leaving Hulu in Fall 2022 (from a deal reached with Hulu back in March). There is also some bullishness around hit summer movies like “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “The Black Phone” having their ...