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Comcast Xfinity Digital Stores to Offer Walt Disney Content

As reported by Los Angeles Times, Comcast Corp. CMCSA recently entered into a content licensing agreement with Walt Disney Company’s DIS studio Entertainment unit, the Walt Disney Studios. This will allow Comcast’s Xfinity subscribers to purchase popular Disney movies, like the blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens from Xfinity’s On-Demand digital stores.

So far, Comcast’s subscribers could only rent Disney movies while this latest arrangement will allow them to own a digital version of the movie and store them in cloud. Apart from the Disney deal, the cable giant has signed similar agreements with Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox. Meanwhile, Comcast-owned Universal pictures also supplies movies to Xfinity digital stores.

Industry Trend

Comcast is a leading cable MSO (multi service operator) in the U.S. However, recent trends clearly show a significant shift in consumer preference to on-demand Internet content over costly TV packages. This has intensified competition between Internet TV providers such as Netflix Inc., Hulu LLC and other who are constantly vying for a larger share of the market. This transition, popularly known as ‘chord cutting’ in the pay TV industry, has exerted considerable pressure on Comcast’s top line. To counter this, Comcast has been striving to make its cable TV services more innovative by adding features like on-demand movies and other attractive content.

The Bottom Line

Comcast boasts a large subscriber base which makes it the largest cable MSO in the U.S. As per reports, more than 70% of the company’s subscribers are using its on-demand services. Moreover, the content addition deal will further boost the its Xfinity’s digital store, which is already posing a formidable challenge to Apple Inc.’s AAPL iTunes and Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN offerings. With such measures in place, it is to be seen whether the cable giant can fend off chord cutting pressure going ahead.

Comcast currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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