Comcast Acquires Xumo Free-Streaming Video Service

Comcast announced that it has acquired Xumo, a free advertising-supported streaming service, from previous owners Panasonic and Meredith Corp.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Comcast paid more than $100 million for Xumo, CNBC reported. Xumo will continue to operate as an independent business unit inside Comcast Cable, the company said.

Xumo offers over 190 free channels, grouped by genre, with live and on-demand streaming entertainment, news and sports — similar to ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV, the ad-supported video startup that Viacom acquired for $340 million last year and grew active monthly users 75% in 2019 to 22.4 million.

Xumo says it now has about 10 million monthly viewers, up from 5.5 million monthly active users as of the spring of 2019. In addition to generating ad revenue from Xumo, Comcast will be able to promote its own service offerings in the app — including the forthcoming Peacock service.

“The talented team at Xumo has created a successful, growing, and best-in-class set of streaming capabilities,” Comcast said in a statement. “We are excited for this team to join Comcast and look forward to supporting them as they continue to innovate and develop their offerings.”

Now overseeing Xumo is Rebecca Heap, senior VP of video and entertainment services for Comcast Cable. Xumo CEO Colin Petrie-Norris remains the head of Xumo, which has 55 employees.

Meanwhile, Comcast’s NBCUniversal is in active discussions about acquiring Walmart’s Vudu, which also offers a selection of free-streaming movies and shows.

The M&A activity in the streaming space by Comcast and NBCU comes as they gear up to launch Peacock, a streaming service that has a hybrid subscription/free model. Peacock is slated to be initially available to Comcast Cable customers April 15, with a U.S.-wide rollout in July.

Comcast’s discussions to acquire Xumo were previously reported by the Wall Street Journal. The owners of Xumo had been shopping it for months and had previously engaged in talks with prospective buyers including Sinclair Broadcast Group, Variety reported.

Comcast already has a commercial deal with Xumo: Last summer, the cable giant inked a pact to add Xumo’s app to Comcast Xfinity TV set-top boxes. Other platforms that distribute Xumo include Roku devices and smart TVs from Panasonic, LG, Vizio, Sanyo, and Hisense.

Xumo’s content partners include ABC News, CBSN, Fox Sports, A+E’s Law & Crime, Jukin Media, Just For Laughs, America’s Funniest Home Videos, USA Today, PBS Digital Studios, BroadbandTV’s Hooplakidz, Tastemade, Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétit, and Vice Media Group’s Refinery29.

Based in Irvine, Calif., Xumo was formed in 2011 as a joint venture between Panasonic and Viant Technology, an ad-tech and data analytics company that also owns Myspace. In 2016, Time Inc. bought Viant prior to media and publishing company Meredith closing its $1.85 billion deal for Time Inc. in early 2018. Meredith sold its equity ownership stake in Viant to founders Tim and Chris Vanderhook but had retained its stake in Xumo.

More TV

  • 'The Bachelor Summer Games' Shelved at

    'The Bachelor Summer Games' Shelved at ABC Due to Coronavirus

    ABC has made the decision to shelve its planned “The Bachelor Summer Games” spinoff, Variety has confirmed, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the entertainment industry. The prospective series, which had yet to be officially announced, was slated to air during the Olympics this summer, however, news of the show being scrapped for the [...]

  • V Wars Season 1

    'V-Wars,' 'October Faction' Canceled at Netflix After One Season Each

    Both “V-Wars” and “October Faction” have been canceled at Netflix after airing just one season apiece, Variety has confirmed. The two shows are both produced by IDW Entertainment, which is also behind the Netflix series adaptation of “Locke & Key.” News of the twin cancellations comes just after Netflix announced a season 2 pick up for [...]


    Fox, iHeart Execs Reveal Secrets Behind 'Living Room Concert' Performances (EXCLUSIVE)

    As recently as last Tuesday, just three artists had signed on to “Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America.” But after a week of scrambling and all-night editing sessions, the producers and executives behind the special managed to put together a one-hour event on Sunday night that attracted at least 5.5 million viewers, [...]

  • Steve Carell John Krasinski

    John Krasinski and Steve Carell Hold Mini 'Office' Reunion

    John Krasinski and Steve Carell virtually reunited for an “Office” reunion as part of the first episode of Krasinski’s new YouTube series, “Some Good News.” In an effort to brighten up spirits during the Covid-19 pandemic, Krasinski launched his new YouTube series on Sunday — and there was no better inaugural guest than his former [...]


    'How To Get Away With Murder's' Death Cover-ups, Ranked

    The road to “How to Get Away with Murder” is lined with dead bodies. Twenty-eight to be exact. Over the years, the series showed that there’s no shortage of ways to die. Suicide, poison, overdose, suffocation — you name it. The most shocking deaths, of course, are the “anchors”: In the season’s first half, each [...]

  • 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' 'A Discovery of

    'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' 'A Discovery of Witches' Writers Set Projects at Quibi (EXCLUSIVE)

    With exactly one week left until its launch, Quibi has put four new shows in development, Variety has learned exclusively. Among the additions to to the platform’s swelling slate are an animated comedy from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” writer Steve Leff, and a thriller from “A Discovery of Witches” showrunner Kate Brooke. The Leff-created comedy is called “God’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content