Comcast just invented cable — a new money-saving bundle will include Apple TV Plus, Netflix, and Peacock

Apple TV
(Image credit: Future)

It seems like a long time ago now that everyone was talking about cutting the cable. The plan was to ditch the cable contracts that so many people paid for yet found themselves only watching a small portion of the content that was available. The reality was that we all had hundreds of channels with countless shows, movies, and documentaries available. But how many did we actually watch?

The idea, then, was to ditch all of that and then only pay for what we actually wanted to watch. The growth of streaming, fast internet connections, and the many different sources of content provided an option for people who wanted something different. But after a few years of streaming eating the lunch of traditional cable companies, those same cable companies are coming back with a vengeance — and they're using the same model we all tried to escape not so long ago.

The latest is Comcast, a company that is now ready to offer a combined streaming bundle that will include Apple TV Plus, Netflix, and Peacock for one monthly fee that will “come at a vastly reduced price to anything in the market today.” But is that actually a good thing, or are we ushering in a return to the bad old days?

Stream on

The Comcast news comes after Variety reported on the plans which were outed by Brian Roberts, the company's chairperson. Roberts was speaking at MoffettNathanson’s 2024 Media, Internet and Communications Conference in New York.

The new streaming bundle will be called StreamSaver and while there is no confirmation yet as to how much we can expect it to cost, Roberts did suggest that subscribers can expect to make significant savings over paying for Apple TV Plus, Netflix, and Peacock ad-hoc.

The aim, we're told, is to “add value to consumers” all while simultaneously trying to “take some of the dollars out of” other businesses. Then, we got to the nugget of the bundle.

“We’ve been bundling video successfully and creatively for 60 years, and so this is the latest iteration of that,” Roberts apparently said. “I think this will be a pretty compelling package.” And that, right there, is the key aspect of Comcast's plan. Having seen people's stance on traditional cable bundling change, the company is trying to pick that model up and move it to streaming, wholesale, with little if any tweaks.

Ultimately, anything that saves consumers money has to be a good thing and if you're already a subscriber to the three streaming services in question this new StreamSaver bundle seems to be a no-brainer. But my hope is that this isn't going to be a slippery slope that ultimately sees us paying companies like Comcast a flat fee and getting access to a dozen streaming services, most of which we don't want. That would be a huge step backward in my mind.

All of that being said, streaming companies must take some blame here. The ever-increasing prices of these services make the unbundling we all sought years ago make less and less sense. In real terms, paying for services ad-hoc could one day wind up costing even more than those cable bundles we hated so much.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.