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Report: EA, Comcast working to stream games to TVs through cable box

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Electronic Arts and Comcast are finalizing an agreement that would allow Comcast customers to stream EA games to their televisions through the telecom giant's X1 cable box, reports Reuters.

Citing five sources, Reuters reports that the deal would cover casual games first, then action and sports titles — while there's no word on specific games, that could include franchises such as Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer and Plants vs. Zombies. EA and Comcast are said to have been testing the service for the past two years. According to Reuters, customers could use tablets as controllers to play the games, and buying titles would resemble the process of purchasing pay-per-view content.

Comcast's X1 is one of the most modern cable boxes in the industry, with support for apps, voice control, a cloud-based DVR and recommendations. The company also offers video on demand through its Xfinity service. Earlier this year, Comcast announced a $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, which would make Comcast the largest cable company in the U.S.; the deal is currently pending regulatory approval.

The shows, tech and reasoning behind Microsoft's grand experiment with television

Cable providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon have brought their content to PlayStation and Xbox consoles through apps. But the agreement between EA and Comcast would mark the most significant instance yet of video games being offered through a cable box.

Other companies are working on game-streaming plans, including Sony. The company's PlayStation Now service, which is set to roll out this summer, will allow customers to stream PlayStation 3 games to PlayStation consoles as well as non-gaming hardware such as Bravia TVs and mobile devices.

Representatives for Comcast and EA declined comment to Polygon.

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