Comcast vet Marcein Jenckes to lead its streaming JV with Charter
Comcast and Charter are making a big bet that cable operators still have a seat at the table in the streaming era.
Why it matters: The two companies' recently announced joint venture is aimed at taking back some of the video distribution market that cable and satellite operators previously dominated.
Yes, but: Over the last decade, Roku, Samsung and Amazon Fire — platforms that are available anywhere rather than tied to specific regions — have grabbed the majority of the streaming distribution market.
Driving the news: Longtime Comcast Cable executive Marcien Jenckes was picked to lead the JV on Thursday.
- Jenckes has some history working with Charter. In 2019, he led On Addressable with Charter and Cox, an initiative that aimed at beefing up the addressable advertising market.
- Jenckes has headed up advertising for Comcast Cable since 2017 and has been with the company since 2010.
Catch up quick: Last month, Comcast and Charter announced a new partnership that would see Comcast license its Flex streaming platform to Charter in order to grow each company's streaming footprint outside their market.
- Comcast also will contribute its smart TV business — XClass — and free ad-supported streaming service Xumo.
- Charter will make an initial contribution of $900 million to be funded over multiple years and will start offering Flex-operated devices next year.
By the numbers: Both companies are bleeding cable subscribers as the pay-TV bundle continues to erode.
- Comcast, which has the biggest subscriber base in pay-TV, shed another 440,000 subs during the first quarter and has lost 1.5 million cable subscribers over the past 12 months.
- Charter's losses have been less steep. The company lost 112,000 subs during the first quarter and 341,000 over the last 12 months.
What we're watching: While everyone is paying attention to subscriber numbers, Comcast and Charter's plan could represent a new salvo in the streaming wars for not just owning the content, but the pipes, too.