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Comcast in Talks to Buy Streamer Xumo: Report

Comcast is in talks to acquire streaming service Xumo, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal said it didn’t know how much Comcast was offering to pay in what were described as “advanced talks” with Xumo, which offers free, ad supported video to consumers. ViacomCBS acquired Pluto TV for $340 million in January and has been boasting about its growth as part of a larger media company.

The cable giant has reluctantly made plans to get into the increasingly competitive streaming fields as cord-cutting has sliced into its pay-TV business.

Comcast’s cable TV unit has launched Flex to provide streaming content to its growing broadband-only customer base and its NBCUniversal unit is getting ready to launch its own multi-tiered streaming service Peacock next year.

Details about Peacock are scheduled to be announced at an analysts’ day on Jan. 18.

Comcast has been trying to reassure investors that it will be able to launch Peacock at a relatively reasonable cost. Adding Xumo would cost millions, but could bring technology and experience that could help Peacock start up smoothly.

NBCU would be able to use its extensive contacts with marketers and its advanced advertising technology to boost Xumo’s advertising sales. Peacock is expected to be ad supported, although a commercial-free tier might be available.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.