Jan 28 Comcast Corp, the No. 1 U.S.
cable operator, is in advanced discussions about licensing its
"X1" video operating system to Cox Communications, the
third-largest cable operator, according to people familiar with
Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts said on Jan. 7 that
the company is looking to license its latest cloud-based
technology to other cable operators. Comcast has been in talks
to provide Cox with a "white label" version of the product
without using Comcast's Xfinity product name, two sources said.
The sources would not speak on the record because the talks
The X1 technology platform has a search function that
combines shows and movies from live TV, library and content from
digital video recorders. It also has an interface that is
considered to be the most advanced in the cable industry,
featuring Internet applications, viewing recommendations and
The video product being licensed would use Comcast's
software, but would be customized to work within Cox's cable
Georgia-based Cox Communications is a unit of Cox
Enterprises and has 4.5 million video subscribers.
An agreement is not yet final so it was not clear when the
two companies would have a deal in place, or how many Cox
subscribers would have access to the product.
Representatives for Cox and Comcast declined to comment.
Comcast has invested about $2 billion in building its
cloud-based platform, said Brean Capital analyst Todd Mitchell.
Licensing its wares and collecting fees from other operators
would help generate additional revenue from the investment.
Mitchell said Comcast and Cox could also save money by using
the same technology because they could buy products from the
John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media Corp who
is driving cable industry consolidation in the United States and
Europe, has been calling on Comcast to share its technology with
smaller players to help them compete against the satellite and
telecommunications industry. Cable companies serve different
markets and do not directly compete with one another.