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Comcast’s Mike Cavanagh: Flex Is Reducing Broadband Churn by 15%-20%

Xfinity Flex
(Image credit: Comcast)

Comcast’s Xfinity Flex streaming video platform is reducing broadband customer churn, and the No. 1 cable operator is actively looking for new ways to monetize it.

We kind of already knew both of those things, but Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh elaborated on the topic Wednesday at the virtualized Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. 

“We see 15 to 20% reduction in churn for a broadband customer only with Flex versus a broadband customer without it,” Cavanagh said. “That’s what we wanted to see, and that’s what we are seeing.”

Comcast recently revealed that it has deployed 3 million Flex devices, handing them out gratis to broadband-only customers. Flex functions as a rather standard player for popular OTT apps including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and, of course, Peacock. Flex can also be configured in an entirely different way--as a set-top that enables Comcast’s full X1 video platform experience. 

Last month, Comcast split the difference on this bifurcation, enabling Flex support for the  Xfinity Stream app. Now, Flex can function in OTT player mode, and users can still get a Comcast pay TV experience on the device through the Stream app. 

There has been speculation--a solid expectation now, really--that Comcast will soon expand Flex out of footprint, making it a device platform that would compete alongside Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google TV in the open market. 

To that end, Cavanagh added this: “It then becomes a platform to do more. Obviously we are a marketer of services for a variety of streaming services. If you’re a big streaming service, you look at the success we’ve had with some of the leading streamers out there, integrating them and helping them sell their products, I think we increasingly look at the lens for monetization of that type of activity.”