The British — and others — are coming to Comcast. Acorn TV, a subscription video-on-demand service specializing in U.K. and international television, is now available to the cable giant’s Xfinity TV customers nationwide.
It’s the first pay-TV distribution deal for RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn TV, which offers a lineup of mysteries, dramas, and comedies previously unavailable to U.S. audiences. The advertising-free SVOD service is available to Comcast subs for $4.99 monthly.
“The addition of Acorn TV and its curated collection of standout international television provides even more choice to our Xfinity TV customers, giving them another way to watch their favorite series or discover new and classic programs,” said Michael Imbesi, Comcast Cable’s VP of movies and pay-per-view programming.
Acorn TV’s originals include BBC comedy “Detectorists”; the new ITV drama “Girlfriends”; and Irish drama “Striking Out.” Exclusive content includes new seasons of Aussie period drama “A Place to Call Home”; Brit drama “Delicious,” centered on food, love and betrayal; Aussie medical dramedy “The Heart Guy”; and Australian dramedy “800 Words.” The service also offers long-running mystery series “Midsomer Murders,” “George Gentlyand,” “Murdoch Mysteries,” “The Brokenwood Mysteries,” and “Jack Irish,” a noir thriller starring Guy Pearce.
Acorn TV’s May programming lineup includes two original series: BBC Wales thriller “Keeping Faith” and Aussie family comedy “Sando.” Acorn TV will feature 10 originals in 2018, with plans to add more than 30 licensed international titles.
The service recently announced the straight-to-series orders of British drama “London Kills” for two seasons and “Agatha Raisin” season 2 starring Ashley Jensen, as well as the licensing of British police procedural “No Offence” and season 2 of “Jack Irish.”
Other series on Acorn TV: British dramedy “Doc Martin”; ITV murder-mystery drama “Loch Ness”; contemporary Irish thriller “Acceptable Risk”; BBC One drama “Love, Lies & Records”; legal drama “Janet King”; cop drama “19-2”; “Agatha Christie’s A Witness for the Prosecution,” starring Toby Jones, Andrea Riseborough, and Kim Cattrall; and “Decline and Fall,” an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s comedic novel starring Jack Whitehall, David Suchet and Eva Longoria.
For Comcast customers, Acorn TV is accessible in the home on Xfinity on Demand and out of the home via the Xfinity Stream App and portal. Xfinity TV customers with an X1 voice-enabled remote can say “Acorn TV” to pull up the menu or navigate to the service within the Xfinity on Demand menu.
Acorn TV is available on the web (at acorn.tv) and multiple platforms including iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast, as well as through Amazon Channels.
In February, AMC Networks announced an agreement to buy majority control of Acorn TV’s parent, RLJ Entertainment. AMC offered about $16 million to buy the 27% of shares of RLJ it didn’t currently own (for a 53% ownership stake). RLJ founder Robert Johnson would retain 47% of the company’s shares.