Comcast to Integrate CBS All Access into X1 and Flex

Native access to SVOD service comes amid operator’s broader carriage renewal with ViacomCBS
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LAS VEGAS — Subscription streaming service CBS All Access will be natively integrated into Comcast’s X1 and Flex pay TV products, a major component of the broad-reaching carriage deal struck between the cable operator and ViacomCBS that was announced this week.

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in CBS All Access's 'Star Trek: Picard.'

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in CBS All Access's 'Star Trek: Picard.'

Comcast said the integration will occur later this year.

ViacomCBS renewed its broadcast retransmission consent agreement with Comcast for 23 owned and operated stations in 15 markets, some of them being CW stations.

The deal also renewed Comcast’s carriage of pay TV channels Showtime, CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Channel and Pop TV.

Comcast was among the first pay TV operators to start natively integrating major streaming services into the user interface of its video systems when it integrated Netflix into X1 back in early 2017. Since then, it’s added apps for YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and a number of other streaming platforms, making them natively searchable via Voice Remote.

Comast’s self-described “aggregator of aggregators” strategy has been extended to Xfinity Flex, the lighter video product the cable operator is marketing to its broadband-only clients.

With Comcast losing another 238,000 video customers in the third quarter of last year, X1’s reputation as a “churn buster” seems to have taken a hit. But most of Comcast’s 21.4 million pay TV users now have X1, and access to that user base will certainly benefit CBS All Access.

“The one place we hadn’t been able to place the service yet was the set-top box,” CBS Interactive CEO Marc DeBevoise, speaking at CES this week.

Prior to its merger with Viacom last year, CBS said it had around 8 million subscribers combined for CBS All Access and Showtime’s OTT service.

DeBevoise didn’t update those figures, but he did say that 79% of CBS All Access subscribers also pay for an MVPD service.

“It’s not a cord-cutter service. It’s actually the opposite,” he said.

CBS All Access is set to launch its latest original series, another Star Trek franchise extension, Star Trek: Picard, later this month. 

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