Comcast to charge outlet fee for Roku app



Customers that use the Roku app as their primary outlet will receive a $2.50 monthly credit on their bill (similar to those who use CableCard-enabled devices today like TiVo DVRs). However, Comcast will levy outlet charges for connected Roku devices on additional TV sets. Currently the operator's additional outlet service fees per set-top box are $9.95 per month; customers that use their own equipment (i.e., a Roku device or TiVo) will receive a $2.50 credit resulting in a net charge of $7.45 per month. A Comcast rep said the company is currently "evaluating our additional outlet policies."

I'm not sure the info is correct if it's it works like a TiVo. It may not cost $7.45 for additional "outlets."

Anyway, what's remarkable here is Comcast has long charged customers equipment fees for leased/rented gear. Here, they're simply charing to use software on customer-owned box to access subscribed content delivered on broadband that both are billed separately. That's crazy, but that's Comcast.

What's even weirder is the Roku app is Comcast's attempt to have a presence on streaming boxes after they flip the TV input. This is an attempt to retain eyeballs on Comcast content and ads, but also to keep people from cutting the cord. That strategy must be at odds with fears of losing lucrative box fees if customers simply decide to watch their cable TV on Roku rather than rent a box.