Comcast Wants To Be One-Stop Shop For Video Streaming, Exec Says

Comcast doesn’t seem to think that it’s one of the unnamed companies that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes chided yesterday for dragging their feet on TV Everywhere — the emerging collection of streaming services for pay TV customers. “We’re big believers in TV Everywhere,” Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit told investors this morning at the Deutsche Bank Media and Telecom Conference. He says that the No. 1 cable operator has focused making it easy for people to access programming on digital devices by proving that they’re subscribers: Comcast asks for the last four digits of their Social Security number and their phone number — and only requires the data to be input once every 30 days. Smit also cited what he says are Comcast’s “landmark deals” to secure programming from Disney, Turner, Viacom, and CBS. The cable company now has 30,000 on-demand programming choices, 200,000 choices, and 8,000 hours of programming available to iPads. The deals run longer than programming deals typically have; the one with Disney lasts 10 years. “We wanted predictability,” Smit says. He doesn’t think it will make his business riskier, though. In his TV Everywhere deals “we focused on flexibility… and it’s a partnership. We have mutual interests” with programmers. While relatively few people may use TV Everywhere initially, “it’s a growing trend” especially among adults under 40 and “we want to be there.” That’s also why Comcast is stepping up its efforts to promote broadband home networking. Smit says that “92% of iPad page views are done via Wi-Fi, mostly in the home.” As for Comcast’s new Streampix TV and movie streaming offering, seen as a potential competitor to Netflix, Smit says that it was developed to keep customers from trying out other services. “We’re a one-stop shopping place,” he says.

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