Pluto TV just swung into a wider orbit: The free, ad-supported linear TV and movie service is now available on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 set-top platform nationwide.
The deal with America’s largest cable operator — coming just a few months after Viacom plunked down $340 million for the startup — brings Pluto TV to set-top boxes in about 14 million homes. Comcast had 20.85 million residential TV customers as of the end first quarter of 2019, and the cable operator says about two-thirds of those are now on X1.
The launch on X1 “is a pivotal moment for Pluto TV, expanding our reach to a whole new audience in search of free streaming entertainment,” said Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV.
Pluto TV, available to Comcast’s X1 customers for no extra charge, provides over 100 live and curated channels (including 14 from Viacom’s networks) plus several thousand free movies with content licensed from 150-plus partners, including TV networks, movie studios, publishers, and digital media companies.
Pluto TV has already been available on Comcast’s Xfinity Flex, a streaming option for the operator’s internet-only customers that costs $5 monthly (per set-top). Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex customers can launch the Pluto TV app by saying “Pluto TV” into their voice remote, or by finding it within each platform’s apps section.
The Comcast pact for X1 distribution comes after Viacom last announced a deal with Cox Communications to add Pluto TV to the Cox Contour service. Pluto TV is available across a range of platforms, including iOS and Android devices, the web at pluto.tv, Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, Google Chromecast, Sony PlayStation 4, and smart TVs from Vizio, Hisense and Sony.
For Comcast, the addition of Pluto TV is part of its strategy to make X1 the go-to place for all media and entertainment, integrated into a common menu and remote. The lineup of streaming internet apps on X1 now includes Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Tubi, SiriusXM’s Pandora, iHeartRadio and NPR One. Comcast also expects to add Hulu to X1 and Flex under the operator’s deal with Disney to cede control of Hulu (and eventually sell back its one-third equity stake in the venture).
Pluto TV’s content suppliers include studios Warner Bros., Lionsgate, and MGM; TV networks like CNN, CBS, Sky News, Bloomberg TV, Fox Sports, and Viacom’s MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Paramount Movie Channel; and digital-media brands including AwesomenessTV, Cheddar News, TYT Network, Newsy, RiffTrax, Jukin Media’s FailArmy, The Onion, IGN, and Legendary’s Geek & Sundry and Nerdist.