Comcast to Boxee: Bring it on, we're ready for the competition


Boxee CEO Avner Ronen put up a slide at the NewTeeVee confab in San Francisco Thursday that showed a startling trend: There will be more Apple (AAPL) iTunes subscribers than Comcast (CMSCA) subscribers within a few years, Ronen contended. Them's fighting words for cable and programming giant Comcast, which is putting up a lively fight to keep control of customers in the face of incursions both from tech giants like Apple, with its Apple TV product, and upstarts like Boxee, which offers a browser that acts like a TV guide for video content available online.

To this end, Comcast is on the brink of rolling out a video-on-demand service to most of its customers that would let them watch programming paid for under their Comcast subscription on any device and over any type of reasonably fast connection. Called Fancast, this untethered access would compete directly with Apple, as well as Netflix (NFLX), Verizon (VZ) and Qualcomm (QCOM).