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Comcast Launches NPR Radio and Podcast App on Xfinity X1 Set-Tops

It’s radio on TV, via the internet: NPR is coming to Comcast’s cable set-tops.

The cable giant is gearing up to launch NPR One app on its Xfinity X1 platform, providing access to National Public Radio’s library of news, talk and music programs on TV. Business terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Comcast will join other internet apps on the X1 platform, including Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and iHeartRadio. According to Comcast, using X1 apps that require internet access will count against subscribers’ Xfinity Internet data-usage caps.

The rollout of the NPR app on Comcast’s set-tops will begin later this week and will be available to all compatible X1 set-top boxes “in the coming weeks,” according to Comcast.

“NPR One feels right at home on X1, bringing the best local and national news, along with your favorite podcasts, in a personalized experience that gets smarter the more you listen,” said Joel Sucherman, NPR’s senior director of digital products.

Comcast’s X1 users can access NPR programming by speaking “NPR” or “NPR One” into their X1 voice-enabled remote. In the future, the cable operator plans to add the ability to call up specific NPR programs or podcasts by name such as “Ask Me Another,” “Planet Money,” or “Up First” or by topic (e.g., “show me NPR Politics”). NPR content also will be integrated into Xfinity’s on-demand menus, alongside related content including news and music. Customers can also access content from their local NPR member station via the NPR One app.

In January, Comcast said it had deployed X1 to nearly 60% of its residential video base. The company reported 21.3 million residential TV customers nationwide as of the end of 2017.

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