The decision comes as Comcast vies to enter more into the streaming world, rather than the TV channels for which it has long been known. The agreement would have Walmart promote TV sets running Comcast software and get a cut of the revenues, according to the news outlet. The TV sets would be made by a third party, and sources said they might carry Walmart branding.
The Comcast software would be engineered to help customers navigate all their streaming apps and watch content, based on Comcast’s expertise in the field. Other tech companies’ devices, including Apple‘s Apple TV, Amazon‘s Fire TV and Roku, have also entered this kind of agreement. And Comcast would be able to promote its own streaming service, Peacock, in the center of the device, sources said. And the move would bring Comcast’s services nationwide instead of just in regional ways.
Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts said earlier this year that the company was eyeing making smart TVs “on a global basis,” though he didn’t specify when that would happen, according to WSJ.
Walmart is a dominant force in the industry and also has a partnership with Roku to sell smart TVs under Walmart’s Onn brand.
The talks between Comcast and Walmart are still at an early stage, the news outlet reported, and might not go forward.
Smart devices have become more inescapable as of late. Stuart Lombard, chief executive at Ecobee, told Karen Webster in April that the pandemic, which drove people into quarantine to try and avoid spreading the virus, could incentivize them to buy new things and devices, such as a smart TV, to fill the house. He said Ecobee, which makes smart devices including thermostats and home devices like computers and sensors, would have to make sure new products were streamlined, intuitive and friendly. And, he said the smart devices should be capable of learning from those inside the house, adjusting to new behaviors as they become entrenched.