Interrobang 2020: Thoughts on Comcast, Sprint and the Future of TV

Donohue.jpgNews that Comcast will team with Sprint to market a new Xfinity Prepaid video service through its Boost Mobile stores left me thinking about an over-the-top video product that Sprint has considered launching in a bid to compete with Comcast, Charter and other cable MSOs.

In 2014, we reported that Sprint had been testing a pass-through device from Denver-based tech vendor aioTV which would allow it to hijack the interactive program guide running in the homes of Sprint customers who pay cable operators for pay TV and broadband. aioTV’s platform would also have allowed Sprint to give its customers access to free online video content, premium video and porn. We even managed to pull a screen grab of the aioTV – Sprint demo (the Web page that housed this image was pulled after we asked Sprint about their plans).

Sprint had also looked at using MobiTV’s MobiTV Connect HDMI dongle to launch an over-the-top video product.

Now that Sprint will allow Comcast to market Xfinity Prepaid through 4,400 Boost Mobile locations, we wonder if it is safe to assume that Sprint will mothball plans to launch an over-the-top video service?

And what will happen to BoostTV, the $10 monthly mobile video product that Sprint launched in July 2015?

The Xfinity Prepaid announcement came out a few days after Comcast confirmed that Greg Butz will lead its Comcast Mobile division.

Comcast appears poised to launch a new mobile service that will rely on Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide. But it won’t take the Wi-Fi only approach that Cablevision pursued with the rollout of its Freewheel mobile voice and Internet service. Instead, Comcast will be able to use an MVNO agreement with Verizon Wireless to deliver broadband data and video to subscribers that aren’t within reach of an Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot.

Another possibility: Comcast could eventually acquire Sprint and its retail locations and / or its own broadband wireless spectrum.

Lastly, if I could don my publisher’s hat for a moment .. While The Donohue Report debuted in 2014, it’s been one year since we switched to a premium site. I wanted to thank the service providers, content providers and tech vendors that have already renewed subscriptions, including Comcast, Cisco and Discovery Communications, and thrilled to have new subscribers such as Gainspeed on board. If you would like access to every scoop on our premium site, including articles on advanced advertising, over-the-top video and the future of the connected home, I promise you will find value in a premium subscription. An individual subscription costs $379, and enterprise licenses (logins for every employee) start at $758. If you use discount code Broadband16 during checkout at our Shopify store, you can receive a 50% discount on subscriptions. And if you are between jobs, or a student, send me an email (steve@donohuereport.com), and I’ll send you a login. — Steve