ThePlatform inks deals with CBC, Canwest

Deals fuel Comcast's video unit's charge into Canadian market

TORONTO -- Comcast's video management service ThePlatform has struck web video distribution deals with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Canwest Global Communications Corp. as it continues a charge into the Canadian market.

The agreements follow the Seattle-based online video publishing unit providing technology and software to deliver video content to entertainment portals operated by rival broadcasters Corus Entertainment and Rogers Communications.

ThePlatform will provide back-end services for Canwest Global's Global Television network and another 18 cable channels, and deliver online video to the CBC, which requires an on-demand video and audio portal for broadcast TV, film clips, and webisodes.

The Comcast unit tailored the Global Television offering mostly to Canadian viewers looking to view U.S. network series on the Canwest Global portal, and a minority requiring easy-to-use tools to view TV online for the first time.

Comcast's back-end technology and software aims to allow Global Television viewers online to receive better episode descriptions and access to favorite shows and social media, while Canwest Global monetizes the entertainment portal through advertising.

The CBC, as it retooled its own entertainment portal, created a beta video portal constantly updated using content from the public broadcaster's extensive library.

As with the earlier Corus and Rogers' deals, ThePlatform receives fees from the CBC and Canwest Global based on the online traffic generated by its dedicated software.