Add Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) to the list of challengers to the dominance of Netflix Inc. in the growing market for video streaming. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is the current owner of second place, with Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) in the hunt following its acquisition of Blockbuster, and a joint deal between Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Redbox-operator Coinstar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSTR). And don’t forget Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and its Vudu streaming service and Hulu, another joint venture that includes Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWS), and Comcast, among others.
Comcast’s offering, called Xfinity Streampix, will cost $4.99/month and include programming from Comcast-owned NBC Universal, Disney’s ABC network, and the Warner Bros. division of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX). The Netflix service currently costs $7.99/month. The Comcast service will launch on Thursday.
Comcast’s announcement has pushed Netflix shares down more than -2% today, to $119.27 in a 52-week range of $74.25-$304.79.