In many parts of the country, there are no choices when it comes to broadband internet providers. If you want broadband, and you are in a Comcast area, that is often your only choice. However, there are lots of options when it comes to TV with satellite and streaming providers to choose from in all markets. Since consumers have so many TV offerings to choose from, Comcast has a large number of internet-only subscribers, and it wants a way to squeeze more money out of those customers.
To that end, Comcast has announced Xfinity Flex. Xfinity Flex will launch across the country next week for Xfinity internet customers. It's a service packaged with an internet-connected 4K HDR TV device that features the Comcast voice remote. Flex gives customers one integrated guide for accessing popular streaming video and music choices along with Comcast's home WiFi, mobile security, and automation services in one place.
Xfinity Flex will cost $5 per month according to Matt Strauss, Executive VP, Xfinity Services for Comcast Cable. Strauss says that the platform includes "thousands" of free movies and shows. There are over 10,000 free movies and TV shows with live streaming TV from ESPN3, Xumo, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Cheddar, YouTube, and others. The integrated guide offers programming choices across multiple apps including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and Showtime.
Flex also allows users to purchase movies and shows from the digital store and pair a Movies Anywhere account to watch movies already owned. Music streaming from Pandora, iHeartRadio, and XITE is supported. Comcast says that "soon" Xfinity Flex customers will be able to upgrade to full Xfinity X1 cable service from within the guide providing live channels, on-demand titles, and a cloud DVR. There is no indication of additional cost to rent the 4K HDR streaming TV device required for Flex. Comcast has tried in the past to lure cord cutters back with a streaming set-top box announced in November.