Comcast is now reselling one of its chief pay-TV rival’s services: Through a deal with Dish Network, the cable operator has launched international programming packages from Sling International via its Xfinity X1 set-top platform.
Sling International’s packages, which start at $10 per month, include multicultural content in 21 languages from about 395 international networks. On Comcast’s X1, the pricing for the channel packages will be “consistent” with its pricing on other platforms, the operator said.
Why would Comcast do business with Dish — companies that compete vigorously for market share? In short, Comcast’s strategy is to make its X1 television platform the one-stop-shop for all video and media accessed on a TV, including over-the-top streaming services. Comcast’s X1 already provides access to internet services including Netflix, Pandora, YouTube and NPR podcasts.
Comcast originally inked the deal with Dish’s Sling TV division the fall of 2016. The idea at the time was that the cable giant would offer Sling TV’s full complement of services — including the core “skinny” over-the-top bundles, but those are not currently available on X1. Both companies say they’re working to roll out additional Sling products on X1 down the road.
Sling’s international programming bundles are available in languages include Arabic, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, English, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Urdu, Bangla, Bengali, Brazilian, French, Italian, German, Polish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Taiwanese and Mandarin.
Comcast X1 customers who are also existing Sling TV customers will be able to log in and access any of the international live or on-demand programming that’s part of their current package. New customers will be able to sign up directly through the Sling International app on X1.
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