Comcast Adding Broadcast TV Shows to On-Demand Offer
NEW YORK - Comcast Corp. said Wednesday it is adding current TV shows from ABC and Fox to its on demand service as of Thursday, making the cable giant the only pay TV provider to offer current series from all four major broadcast networks in that form.
It is also adding some new shows from CBS and NBC, such as The Voice, which have previously made availabe current series shortly after their original air date.
Comcast and others have looked to beef up VOD offers amid Wall Street concerns about online video alternatives to pay TV services, such as Netflix's streaming video service. Some have said such options could lead users to cut their pay TV cord.
The shows are available the day after the original broadcast and will be fast-forward disabled. The networks offer the four most recent episodes of series.
The addition of this new programming nearly doubles the amount of hit TV series available from the major broadcast networks and offers customers "the most TV episodes in high-definition" on demand, Comcast said.
“Our goal is to deliver customers the best and most-current entertainment choices anytime, anywhere so they can catch up and keep up with their favorite TV shows," said Marcien Jenckes, senior vp and general manager of video services for Comcast. “By nearly doubling the number of current TV series from broadcast networks, Xfinity TV on demand offers our customers a one-of-a-kind experience that can’t be found elsewhere."
Asked how VOD helps retain current subscribers or may combat cord cutting, Jenckes reiterated previous Comcast management comments that the firm hasn't seen any evidence of cord cutting. He emphasized that the expanded VOD content adds value for current subscribers though and can even attract new customers.
"The reason we are doing this is we are trying to create every day a more compelling television experience for consumers," he said. "When we make the content that consumers love available across platforms and on their terms, consumers tell us all the time that they really like that...At the end of the day, we aspire to reinvent the television model in a way that delivers the most value to our consumers."
Starting Thursday, Comcast will add more than 20 ABC and Fox series on demand, including Cougar Town, Body of Proof, Grey's Anatomy, American Dad, Bones, Breaking In and Family Guy. They join such shows from CBS and NBC as NCIS, Hawaii Five-0, The Office and 30 Rock.
Jenckes said that network partners benefit from VOD as well. Comcast has seen promotion of VOD drive linear tune-in for shows, "and the viewership within our Comcast audience has been greater than elsewhere," he said. "In many ways, this is a real driver for the networks."