The companies said the multi-year deal includes linear carriage of TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TCM, truTV, HLN and CNN en Español as well as on-demand and TV Everywhere programming. Comcast is the No. 1 U.S. cable provider, reporting 18.55 million residential pay-TV customers as of last September.
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In addition to linear carriage, soon-to-launch streaming service CNN+ will also be integrated into Xfinity X1 as well as connected-TV service Xfinity Flex and XClass smart TVs later this year. The agreement is the first distribution deal for CNN+, which plans to launch during the current quarter.
The deal follows another major carriage agreement reached by Comcast and a different media giant with major streaming holdings: Disney. That pact was announced at the end of November last year.
“We’re so pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with Comcast and deliver best-in-class storytelling, essential news and premium sports to millions of customers,” said Scott Miller, EVP of business and legal affairs for WarnerMedia. “It’s an exciting time in our industry as we continue putting consumers at the center of where and how they are informed and entertained. Comcast’s position as both a pay TV provider and app platform complements our foundational business of linear TV and emerging streaming businesses.”
Comcast has been among the most aggressive pay-TV operators when it comes to integrating streaming services into Xfinity offerings. The company’s premise is that the less friction it creates for customers, the more likely they will be to stay within Comcast’s ecosystem, where they can be served advertising and additional services. Comcast can also participate in revenue derived from subscriptions originating through its platforms, in a setup similar to that of streaming tech providers like Roku or Amazon. An agreement to integrate WarnerMedia’s HBO Max into Xfinity was announced in December 2020.
“WarnerMedia has been a terrific partner through the years, and we are very pleased to provide our Xfinity customers with access to their content across our industry-leading platforms,” said Rebecca Heap, SVP of consumer products & propositions for Comcast Cable.
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