Comcast thinks its new “X1” voice-controlled cable box will be the future of TV, and now that future will include Netflix.
Recode’s Kara Swisher on Tuesday broke the news that Comcast would allow Netflix on its new platform, and the pair of companies gave the following statement:
“Comcast and Netflix have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, providing seamless access to the great content offered by both companies. We have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year. We’ll provide more details at that time.”
Netflix stock popped over 3% soon after the news came out. It ended up about 1.2% on Tuesday, a mostly down day for tech stocks.
Comcast sees X1 as a competitor to the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, digital assistants that get you want you want. The pitch is that X1 will be the most elegant way of dropping you into whatever you want to watch – fast. And the company has ambitions for X1 to be the center of your smart home, not just a cable box.
X1’s big test will come with this summer’s Olympics.
Comcast has said users will be able to use X1 to find specific countries or events or to parachute into situations like “US is about to win gold.” You’ll hop around by speaking to the remote. “This is the future of television,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts told Bloomberg.
But some aren’t so convinced.
“There is a risk that Comcast is positioning X1 as a Mercedes at a time when more of the market is looking at an economy car,”analystCraig Moffett told Bloomberg.