The move is a direct attempt from the pair to upend the streaming device market which, in the US, is dominated by the likes of Google, Amazon and Roku.
The partnership is a 50/50 JV and is entirely oriented around streaming, with a press release noting: “This joint venture does not involve the broadband or cable video businesses of either Comcast or Charter which will remain independent.”
To kickstart this new company, Comcast said that it will licence its Flex streaming platform and hardware to the JV, while also contributing the retail business for XClass TVs which will be available through national retail partners and “potentially direct” from Comcast and Charter. Comcast-owned AVOD service Xumo will also shift to fall under this new umbrella.
Charter meanwhile will make an initial contribution of US$900 million to be funded over multiple years, and will offer the 4K streaming TV devices and voice remotes beginning in 2023.
Dave Watson, CEO of Comcast Cable, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Charter to bring this platform and its award-winning experience to millions of new customers. These products are all designed to make search and discovery across live, on-demand and streaming video seamless and incredibly simple for consumers.
“This partnership uniquely brings together more than a decade of technical innovation, national scale and new opportunities to monetize our combined investment.”
Tom Rutledge, Charter chairman and CEO, said: “Our new venture will bring a full-featured operating platform, new devices, and smart TVs with a robust app store providing a more streamlined and aggregated experience for the customer. As the video landscape continues to evolve, this venture will increase retail consumer options, compete at scale with established national platforms, and join our existing lineup of options for the Spectrum TV App available on most customer-owned streaming devices.”