Comcast Wholesale Pitches Live Streaming Service

Targets Programmers, OTT Players with ‘Turn-Key’ Offering
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Comcast Wholesale, a unit of Comcast that runs a content delivery network and delivers multiscreen video services, has launched  a live linear streaming service that it will market to a range of programmers and video distributors, including over-the-top service providers.

The new turn-key service, launched in tandem with the IBC show in Amsterdam, is designed to help partners quickly develop and turn up linear video streaming, Barry Tishgart, vice president, Comcast Wholesale, said.

Comcast Wholesale’s role in the process will include the rapid ingest of the source video feeds, he said, noting that the unit has access to both satellite- and fiber-based content delivery infrastructures. Following ingest, Comcast Wholesale’s workflow also extends to the encoding and packaging of live video for distribution to end users. That distribution can occur over Comcast’s own CDN or a third-party provider such as Akamai, or in a private/public CDN combo.

Comcast said its new platform, which uses thePlatform’s mpx video management system (thePlatform is an online video publishing firm owned by the Comcast), can support and manage a variety of business models, including ad- or subscription-based offerings. The service also features a live-to-VOD workflow and publishing capability.

Comcast Wholesale hasn’t announced any deals for the new linear streaming service, but it has active customers on the platform and has several trials underway, Tishgart said, noting that Comcast Wholesale is already working with a “large premium cable network.”

He said opportunities also extend to marquee live events and with international OTT players that are seeking ways to reach U.S. audiences.

As it enters the live linear streaming fray, Comcast Wholesale will be challenged to stand apart from a competitive mix that includes Verizon Digital Media Services, Level 3 Communications, NeuLion, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and iStreamPlanet, which was recently acquired by Turner Broadcasting System.