Comcast and Co. Accelerates Startups Again

The Comcast Studios logo seen on top of a building.

Comcast launched a new accelerator program for sports tech startups to operate out of Comcast Central Division via the Battery. SportsTech will provide resources and exposure for 10 selected startups in a boot camp starting August 2020.

The American mass media company will partner with six brands in a $45 million deal lasting three years. Participating companies include NASCAR, US Ski and Snowboard, USA Swimming, alongside NBC Sports, Sky Sports, and Golf Channel.

All the companies mentioned will have a say in which startup company they’re willing to invest in.

$50,000 awaits each startup for capital investment, according to Comcast. NASCAR and US Ski & Snowboard will advise for the startup selection, but won’t financially contribute.

Pre-Series A sports tech startups can apply to work alongside these companies in the three-month boot camp. Said camp will be held at the host company’s Atlanta offices.

Vice president for Startup Power Development Jenna Kurath runs the new accelerator. The company and its partners aim to innovate and advance competitive aspects of participating organizations.

SportsTech assigned categories like Business of Sports, Team and Coach Success, and Athlete and Player Performance.

Participating partners hope to drive greater audience engagement. Growth in esports in the marketplace plays a role, says president of Comcast Cable Central Bill Connors. The company began making plans to launch accelerators since they opened their 60-acre site in 2016.

NASCAR Chief Innovation Officer Craig Neeb said fans are waiting for innovations on how competition works in the sport. US Ski & Snowboard says they’re interested in wearable technology, in addition to artificial intelligence and computer vision.

When completed, the startups could receive series-level investment or purchase offers from Comcast and its partners. One of their main goals is to determine who can add value into their companies’ ecosystem.

Comcast vs Roku on a Stock War

Roku - Two people discussing stock market graphs

Comcast generated $22 billion from video revenue for the last quarter in Q4. However, video revenue went down 1% annually with customers declining by 3%.

Each figure’s decline benefits streaming offerings Roku with active accounts increased by 36% to more than 32 million. In addition to that, Roku’s streaming hours increased by over 70% annually.

Roku’s stock went up 355% year-on-year last December as the best performing US tech stock worth at least $5 billion. This gives the company a market cap of $16.5 billion by the end of the year.

The company surged by 28% on May 9, then lifted in the fourth quarter by 25%. Its stock slumped from nearly 30% set in September 2019.

After its record-breaking increase last year, critics expect Roku’s stock to decline even further. However, they still expect more success for the company with engagement numbers still increasing.

Meanwhile, Comcast stocks closed at 45.80 with a 1.82% increase last session. Reports are focusing on Xfinity Flex, which could protect its profitable subscribers from transferring to other services.

Xfinity Mobile, on the other hand, can offer better prices for subscribers than larger carriers. The carrier offers unlimited data for $45 a month, with almost $12 per 1 GB of shared data.

Analysts expect Comcast to grow earnings per share by nearly 9% over the next five years.

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