Comcast Launches Subscription VOD Service for Older TV, Movie Content

9:55 AM PST 02/21/2012 by Georg Szalai
NBC

UPDATED: Xfinity Streampix will be available only to existing Comcast video subscribers, but focus on older video content where Netflix has been a key player.

NEW YORK - Comcast on Tuesday unveiled the launch of Xfinity Streampix, a new subscription streaming video service that allows existing video subscribers to access additional older film and TV content on multiple devices, including TV sets, online platforms and mobile devices.

Netflix has been a key provider of older video content online, with Comcast deepening its content offers in that space with its new service.

Disney-ABC Television Group, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and Cookie Jar are initial content partners for the service, which will be included in many Comcast Xfinity triple-play and other video subscription packages and also be offered for $4.99 per month to other Comcast video customers.

The cable giant said that the service will allow "Xfinity video customers to instantly view favorite movies and TV shows in and out of the home, including numerous past seasons of current hit shows and full series."

Xfinity Streampix complements Comcast's offer of 75,000 TV shows and movies available on its Xfinity On Demand service, XfinityTV.com  and the Xfinity TV app.
 
“Xfinity TV is a one-stop source for the most video entertainment on any screen and it just keeps getting better,” said Marcien Jenckes, senior vp and general manager, video services at Comcast. “Our goal is to consistently deliver greater value to our customers and to bring the best anytime, anywhere entertainment on multiple platforms. Streampix is another step moving TV Everywhere forward by giving customers access to an even greater library of popular choices to watch.”

Comcast said the new service allows it to offer additional content, such as past full seasons of TV shows and library movie titles, and gives it more packaging flexibility.
 
Among content included in the service are past full seasons of 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, Married With Children and others, as well as such films as Analyze That, Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Kids programming includes Inspector Gadget, Paddington Bear, Strawberry Shortcake and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.

"While Xfinity Streampix is another competitor for Netflix within the over-the-top landscape, it is not competing with Netflix in all U.S. markets because the service is only being offered in-market to existing Comcast video subs," said Credit Suisse analyst John Blackledge. "In terms of the content offering, we believe Netlix content is and has been evolving and will be differentiated relative to the Xfinity Streampix service. The evolution of Netflix’s content offering includes recent feature films in and around the premium cable network window, with some of that content being exclusive, as well as exclusive prior seasons of TV shows like Mad Men. Additionally, Netflix is beginning to offer original programming, including recently released Lillyhammer and upcoming House of Cards and the revival of Arrested Development."

Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker said the authenticated streaming service is "a positive for both cable and media as it protects the current ecosystem and affiliate fee model." She compared it to similar offers from satellite TV giant Dish and Verizon, which recently formed a joint venture with Redbox.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai
 

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