Comcast isn't exactly known for playing nicely with outside video services (just ask Roku owners), and that trend isn't letting up anytime soon. Multichannel News notes that the cable giant isn't letting its subscribers authenticate with the TV Everywhere side of Starz' new streaming service, which would let customers watch at no charge beyond their existing TV subscriptions. Comcast is the only big TV provider that isn't authenticating, so it's clear that this isn't a technical hurdle.
But why? On the record, the two sides will only say that they're still "great partners" and hope to work something out. However, it's no secret that Comcast objects to the all-inclusive nature of Starz' apps. Unlike the splits in services like HBO Go and HBO Now, Starz lets both internet-only and TV Everywhere customers sign in through the same software -- Comcast isn't happy that cord cutting (or at least, scaling back your cable package) is just a few steps away. It'd rather steer you toward Xfinity TV and similar in-house services that keep you within the fold.
It's not clear what Starz can do to make peace short of writing an app solely for TV subscribers. Whatever happens, it's clear that telecom giants still hold many of the cards in the US. Even with net neutrality rules in place, companies can still use tactics to discourage competition and promote their own offerings.