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Comcast Buys Watchwith to Solidify Video Metadata Platform

Zacks Equity Research

Comcast Corp. CMCSA, a leading cable MSO (multi service operator) and media giant, recently acquired video metadata technology provider Watchwith. However, the terms of the contract have been not been disclosed. San Francisco-based Watchwith and its 15 employees will become part of Comcast Metadata Products and Search Services, a unit set up to develop services for Comcast's X1 video platform.

Watchwith is a developer of a deep metadata platform that can provide information about what’s occurring within a video, Multichannel reports to name a few. The technology can specifically provide information like the name of the actors who appear on TV screen, the location of a given scene, or the start of a memorable scene within a movie or a TV show. Watchwith is already a partner of Comcast and integrates its play-by-play sports component into the cable MSO’s X1 cable box.

The combination of advanced metadata and content discovery component will enable TV viewers to navigate and search for things they want to watch. Watchwith has an impressive clientele. Notable among them are NBC Universal of Comcast, Fox Networks of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. FOXA and CBS Corp. CBS. Comcast and Twenty-First Century Fox currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) while CBS holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In recent times, the metadata technology segment is witnessing a series of mergers and acquisitions. In Dec 2016, Nielsen Holdings plc NLSN agreed to purchase the Gracenote video, music and sports data business from Tribune Media Co. TRCO for $560 million. In Nov 2016, Hulu agreed to purchase video metadata company Video Genome Project to enhance its content recommendation capabilities. Thus, Comcast’s acquisition of Watchwith will make the industry more consolidated.

Price Performance of Comcast

2016 was extremely good for Comcast’s investors. Last year, the stock returned 24.31%, outshining the cable TV industry’s gain of 18.98%. Nevertheless, cable TV industry is facing massive cord-cutting threat and Comcast is no exception to the trend. We believe that is the primary reason behind the stock currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3.

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Nielsen N.V. (NLSN): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Tribune Media Company (TRCO): Free Stock Analysis Report
Comcast Corporation (CMCSA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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