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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 21, 2012

Comcast Offers Subscribers New On-Demand Streaming Service

By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer

Comcast (News - Alert) is releasing a new service streaming TV shows and movies to current customers that will directly compete against Internet and video rivals such as YouTube, Hulu (News - Alert), and Netflix.

The new service called, Xfinity Streampix, available this Thursday, will add to the 75,000 shows and films Comcast already offers consumers that subscribe to both TV and Internet service through Xfinity On Demand. For some users, including those that don’t purchase broadband from Comcast, the additional streaming service will be available as an add-on to their current package for an additional $4.99 per month.

“Xfinity TV is a one-stop source for the most video entertainment on any screen and it keeps getting better,” said Marcien Jenckes, senior vice president and general manager for 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,” said Jenckes.

Comcast Corporation currently has licensing agreements with companies including Walt Disney (News - Alert) Co., Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures, and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Brothers that will all be offering their content titles to the service. This will give viewers access to popular shows such as TV’s “30 Rock,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Heroes,” and “Married…with Children. Viewers will also be able to stream movies such as “Brokeback Mountain,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and “When Harry Met Sally.”

Streampix said that in the coming months it plans to expand to make the streaming service available on multiple devices such as tablets and smartphones. This way more people can enjoy the service on the go. However, Streampix has a hard road ahead if it wants to become the No. 1 streaming service in the United States.

One of the problems for Streampix is whether or not it can make itself a true competitor in the online, on-demand, and streaming markets. While alone the service is cheaper than anything else on the market, the exclusivity of only being available for Comcast consumers makes it a hard sell. Many Netflix subscribers would rather keep their subscription than have to change their television and Internet services to be able to stream content on demand. Looks like only time will tell.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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