AMSTERDAM—Working to reposition its North American business model amid a huge wave of consolidation among its top operator clients, Korean-based set-top middleware vendor Alticast said it’s talking to Comcast about possibly providing tools and services for the cable giant’s ongoing integrations of its syndicated X1 product.
Alticast made the revelation here on the show floor of the IBC Show. The software vendor has seen significant disruption to its North American business over the past year. This includes the purchases of clients Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. Charter Communications, which closed its $49 billion purchase of TWC in 2016, is still working with Alticast in its acquired TWC footprint as it moves along with its massive integration. Meanwhile, Altice, which closed its $17.7 billion purchase of Cablevision last year, developed its own middleware for its new set-top platform out of its European Altice Labs operation.
Subsequent to the company's disclosure here of its efforts with Comcast, an Alticast representative clarified that the company wasn't specifically in discussions with Comcast but instead working to provide integration services for other cable operators that license Comcast's X1 platform for their own customers. "What our representative was communicating is how Alticast can work as a systems integrator for operators that are deploying – for example – the Comcast X1 platform," said an Alticast spokesperson.
Like Altice, Comcast has created much of its own set-top software stack out of its own technology concerns. But the syndication portion of Comcast’s business presents a new opportunity for Alticast, one of many pay-TV vendors dealing with the ongoing wave of telecom consolidation in North America and beyond.
Comcast is currently licensing its advanced X1 video platform not only to Cox Communications in the U.S. (which calls its version “Contour”), but also to Canada’s Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and Videotron.
An Alticast executive told FierceCable at IBC that the company began dialog with Comcast during the No. 1 cable company’s failed attempt to acquire TWC itself two years ago. That dialog has evolved into possibly providing tools for Rogers’ white-label X1 set-top software stack, the executive said.
However, after those comments, Alticast clarified that it's not directly in discussions with Comcast.
Comcast reps didn’t immediately respond to FierceCable’s inquiry for comment.
Article updated Sept. 15 with additional comments from Alticast.