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Comcast Introduces $20 Streaming Service: Is NOW TV Worth It?



Are you a Comcast Xfinity internet customer?

If so, you soon will have a new live TV streaming service worth considering.

The telecommunications and media conglomerate recently announced that it will be rolling out a streaming service called “NOW TV” in the coming weeks.

The marketing hook is that you’ll get more than 40 live TV channels and a Peacock Premium subscription for $20 per month. No fees, equipment add-ons or contract commitments.

In this article, I’ll walk you through what Comcast has promised for this service and how it stacks up against some other live TV options in a similar price range.

What Is Included With NOW TV?

NOW TV image via Comcast

The NOW TV service will be accessible through the Xfinity Stream app and includes three sources of content:

  • 40+ live TV streaming channels
  • Peacock Premium subscription
  • More than 20 “freebie” FAST streaming channels

To be eligible to subscribe, you must be a Comcast Xfinity internet customer.

I’ll walk you through more details on each of these categories.

NOW TV: Live TV Streaming

NOW TV’s live TV streaming offering include 40+ channels, 20 hours of cloud DVR storage and access on three concurrent streams.

But, you’re not going to find access to live sports or news here.

ESPN, FS1, CNN, FOX News and the like are not included in this channel bundle. So, it’s probably not fair to expect this to be a full replacement for more expensive streaming services like YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV.

Instead, you’ll get access to a skinnier bundle that features Warner Bros. Discovery channels such as Food Network and HGTV, as well as the Hallmark bundle of channels.

This is similar to the strategy of Philo, which offers many of the same channels for $25 per month. (It does not require a Comcast Xfinity internet connection to subscribe, though.)

Here’s a look at the full channel menu for NOW TV:

NOW TV Channel List
  • A&E
  • Afro
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • BBC America
  • BBC News
  • Comedy.TV
  • Cooking
  • Crime + Investigation
  • Discovery
  • Discovery Life
  • Food Network
  • FYI
  • Great American Family
  • Great American Living
  • Get TV
  • Game Show Network
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Drama
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • The HISTORY Channel
  • Investigation Discovery
  • IFC
  • Justice Central
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movie Network
  • Magnolia Network
  • Military History
  • MotorTrend Network
  • OWN
  • Pursuit
  • Recipe.TV
  • Science Channel
  • Sony Movies
  • Sundance TV
  • TLC
  • Travel Channel
  • Vice
  • WEtv
  • Weather Channel

Peacock Premium Subscription

Peacock is NBCUniversal’s value video streaming service that launched in 2020.

The Peacock Premium subscription included with this bundle has a $4.99 monthly retail value. Comcast Xfinity internet customers previously received complementary Peacock Premium subscriptions, but that perk will be going away in June 2023.

So, it’s fair to say that Comcast Xfinity is trying to sell that previously free perk back to its internet customers as part of this bundle.

Peacock blends on-demand content, which includes the library of popular shows such as “The Office” and “Yellowstone”, with live TV streaming options.

The live TV streaming includes English Premier League (EPL) soccer, exclusive Sunday morning MLB games in the summer, Sunday Night Football in the fall, summer and winter Olympics, WWE events and various other sporting events.

NOW TV: FAST Streaming Channels

The third content branch of this subscription is the most easily replaceable.

“FAST,” which is short for “free, ad-supported television,” is an acronym used to describe channels available on many free streaming services.

These are usually low-cost productions that either broadcast reruns or condensed clips of content.

NOW TV is promoting that it has two FAST news channels, as well as 19 genre-specific channels provided by Comcast-owned free streaming service Xumo Play:

NOW TV FAST Channels
  • NBC News NOW
  • Sky News
  • Action Movies
  • Black Cinema
  • Bollywood & Indian Cinema
  • Comedy Movies
  • Comedy TV
  • Crime TV
  • Documentaries
  • Drama & Action TV
  • Family Movies
  • Food TV
  • Movies
  • Game Shows
  • Her Movies
  • Horror & Thriller
  • Kids TV
  • Reality TV
  • Sci-Fi & Fantasy Movies
  • Travel & Lifestyle TV
  • Westerns

If this type of content interests you, give Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Amazon’s Freevee a try. You may be able to get what you want without paying for a subscription.

Final Thoughts

With the popularity of cable television subscriptions on the decline, Comcast is trying to lure its cord-cutting internet customers back into TV subscription fold by offering a live TV streaming service.

It’s smart to adapt to consumer behavior, but I can’t help but wonder how successful this will be without the inclusion of popular live sports channels like ESPN and FS1.

The depth of offerings in live sports and live news/commentary channels are the one advantage that live TV streaming bundles have over video streaming services like Netflix or Amazon’s Prime Video. Without them, sports fans and news junkies may not be interested.

And trying to sell Comcast Xfinity internet customers a streaming service that Comcast has been giving them for free for years is an interesting strategy.

But if you are a Comcast Xfinity cable subscriber who cares little for live sports and news, this live TV streaming channel bundle could be a great way to slash your monthly entertainment bill.

Are you a Comcast Xfinity internet customer? Will you be giving this streaming service a try? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the community.

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