Comcast to Debut Online Video Service for 14 Million Cable Subscribers featuring 24 Cable Channels

By on 11/16/2009 9:40 PM @beet_tv

SAN FRANCISCO — Comcast, the nation's biggest cable system, will launch an online offering of its television service to 14 million Comcast "double play" subscribers next month. Comcast's Interactive Media President Amy Banse told Beet.TV's Daisy Whitney in this video interview.

While the December introduction had been widely anticipated and was announced last week, the scale of the offering has not been widely discussed. 

Comcast will offer subscribers of the double play service, meaning those with both television and Internet, cable programming from 24 networks on their computers at no additional cost.

Several networks are providing a limited offering of their content for initial launch.  These include CBS, HBO, Cinemax, TNT, TBS, A&E, AMC, BBC America, DIY Network, Fine Living Network, Food Network, Hallmark, HGTV, History, IFC, MGM Impact, Sundance Channel, WE tv, E!, The Style Network, G4, and FEARnet.

While there is just a handful of premium cable networks in the Comcast program, we expect several will join in next year.  The 24 channels is reminiscent the early days of cable television.

With the anticipated Comcast acquistion of NBC Universal, it may well be that NBC and its several cable properties will be a big player in this profound development in media convergence.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Video Transcript

Daisy Whitney:  To start off, can you explain what does the term TV Everwhere mean?

Amy Banse: Great question. I think it means different things for different people. TV Everywhere is in fact an industry initiative, so whether or not it's cable or satellite distributor, it's an industry initative whereby distributers can allow their customers to access…to get authenticated on their sites, on their aggregated sites, and access their cable content on their sites. That's one piece of it. And then the second piece is to allow the same customers to access programming content on a programmer's site. So there's really two pieces of TV Everywhere and it's pretty much as simple as that.

Daisy Whitney:  Can you tell us a little bit about the roll out, the limitations, where it stands?

Amy Banse:  Um, TV Everywhere is an ongoing process through the industry. Our expression, so to speak, of TV Everywhere is something we're calling On Demand Online or affectionately known at Comcast as ODOL. We will be actually introducing or launching ODOL to our subscriber base in December.

Daisy Whitney:
  Across the entire 24 million…

Amy Banse: 
Actually, the initial launch will be made available to what we call our double play customers. Is it dual play or double play? Double play customers, which are people who buy both video and high speed data from us, and that's about a base of 14-15 million.

Daisy Whitney:
  So basically, when it rolls out, it rolls out widely.

Amy Banse: 
It…yeah. We're in beta. Actually it's kind of like an alpha beta right now. We introduced it to about 5,000 customers in July, and then as I said, in December we will introduce the beta to the entire dual play base.

Daisy Whitney:  Now at Comcast Interactive Media you guys have acquired a number of companies: Fandango, Daily Candy. Can you talk to us broadly sort of about how you evaluate acquisitions and what your strategy is in that regard?

Amy Banse:
  Sure. We really see ourselves as working in three buckets and have done so since Sims inception about four years ago. The first bucket is we've been interested in what we call consumer facing companies or products in the entertainment category, which is why we bought Fandango; it fit nicely in there. The second bucket is building cross platform tools and features, and we really view Fancast, which is a product we've developed completely in-house, as something that fits into that second bucket. And then the third bucket is acquiring companies that allow us to develop, have and develop the back-end to support buckets one and two, and that's why we acquired companies like Plaxo and the Platform.

Daisy Whitney:  Alright, so it's the bucket strategy!

Amy Banse: 
Yes it's the three bucket strategy and it's working beautifully for us.

Recent Videos
image
VICE News is “One of the Biggest Newscasts in the World”

In five months since its launch, VICE News on YouTube  is “one of the biggest newscasts in America and possibly the world,” says Brian Dietz, SVP of Sales in this Beet.TV session video.   He says that the network has over 650,000 subscribers on YouTube and has had 70 million views of its ...

image
Video Ads Perform Better On Mobile: Jun Group CEO

The booming video advertising segment stands an even better chance of ringing up success on mobile devices than it has on desktop so far. That’s according to one video ad platform boss. “Seventy percent of the video views we did were on mobile devices,” says Jun Group CEO Mitchell ...

image
Razorfish CEO: Paid Media Should Operate in Real-Time With Social

Paid, owned and earned media can work well on a real-time basis, and brands need to rethink both their allocations for paid media and the timing too, says Pete Stein, CEO of Razorfish, in an interview with Ashley J. Swartz, CEO of Furious Minds, for Beet.TV. “It used to be that paid media was ...

image
Maker Studios’ Jason Krebs: Collaboration Key for Brands & Creators

Collaboration with creators is vital for brands working with digital producers and talent, says Jason Krebs, Head of Sales at Maker Studios, in an interview with Ashley J. Swartz, CEO of Furious Minds, for Beet.TV. Maker Studios creates and distributes video content focused on millenials and its videos ...

image
Havas Dish Latino Digital Campaign Jumps to TV

Some brands are now migrating successful digital ads to the TV set, in a reversal of what was once the trend of repurposing TV spots for online video, says Rori DuBoff, Global Head of Strategy at Havas Digital, in an interview with Beet.TV. Havas recently launched a campaign for Dish Latino around the World ...

image
‘The Big Ideal’ Fuels Cross-Platform Content: Ogilvy’s Abby Marks

Nevermind your product, what do you stand for? That’s what OgilvyEntertainment’s senior strategy and operations director Abby Marks tells her clients, channeling her agency’s late founder. “David Ogilvy was always about research and treating the cons as an equal, thinking about ...

image
JWT’s Branded Content Approach Starts with Participation

Branded content is not an “if” for marketers; it’s a must-have, says Eric Weisberg, Executive Creative Director at JWT, in an interview with Beet.TV. To be effective, branded programming needs to deliver on the right combination of entertainment and utility. As an example, he points to work ...

image
Multi-Channel Network Collective Digital Studio Launches New Content for Purina

Los Angeles-based Collective Digital Studio (CDS) launched a new series of programming for its popular YouTube channel Petcentric as part of a recently minted deal with Purina, say Paul Kontonis, SVP in an interview with Beet.TV. That channel is now managed by CDS, which works with YouTube influencers to ...

image
Millennials Are Cool With Brands Changing All The Time: Initiative/IPG Study

Brands need to mimic the characteristics of millennial-age consumers to curry their favor, according to research, The Reset Generation, conducted by media agency IPG’s Initiative group. “Their expectations of brands are what they think people expect of them,” says Initiative’s US ...

image
If “Content Is King,” then “Distribution is Queen” as Paid Media is Essential,...

Mindshare, the media agency within WPP, has created some 250 branded campaigns for video and television over the past 9 years, says David Lang, Chief Content Officer and President of the agency’s entertainment division,  in this interview with Beet.TV  On the subject of viral video hits and paid vs. ...

image
Hearst is Building a “Netflix Model” Around Magazine Video Content

Hearst has just launched “CosmoBody,” a daily fitness show which is advertiser-free and is  being offered on a subscription basis.  This is the first of what will be a number of Hearst titles and Hearst partners who will be part of a new “Netflix model,” explains Chris Grosso, SVP ...

image
Yahoo Gets Post-Web Analytics With Flurry: Jun’s Reichgut explains

Yahoo has bought itself a role in the advertising ecosystem that comes after the desktop web by acquiring mobile analytics firm Flurry last week. That’s the assessment of one cross-platform video ad tech vendor CEO. “A media company that was based on the web is now struggling getting in to the ...

loader