After launching in the Boston area this past week, Comcast is bringing its Stream TV service to the greater Chicagoland area. Comcast Xfinity subscribers are the only ones with the option to purchase the approximately $15 per month streaming subscription, Comcast announced. Subscribers can watch HBO shows, as well as "limited basic" cable channels, but notably don't have access to ESPN, Comedy Central, and other big names. Local channels vary by region, so additional possibilities might become available as the service expands to cover Comcast's entire service area by early next year.
As the service expands, it could face scrutiny from competitors. Comcast’s internet TV service is delivered over the company’s managed cable network, not the public internet, so it doesn’t count against customers' data caps. These caps, which will likely be more fully rolled out later this year, put preferential treatment on Comcast's own services, although users opting to subscribe to other streaming sites can pay for additional data.
Comcast announced its new offering this past summer as a way to address changes in the TV market, and, in particular, to reach younger consumers who want to watch shows without committing to a physical television. It differs from other services, such as Sling TV, in that it has to be used on a subscriber's home Wi-Fi network. Sling's higher price point comes with more premium cable networks, too, including CNN and The Disney Channel.
Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge's parent company.