Well, I don’t think it’s a stretch anymore to say that Comcast’s latest venture into online video is a off to a good start. CBS is the latest network to join the impressive lineup which also includes HBO and Cinemax as of yesterday. This networks is a big step for Comcast On Demand Online as CBS is the only major network not available on the free to everyone site, Hulu. But remember, Comcast On Demand Online will only be available to Comcast subs who currently pay for the stations. (e.g. if you can’t watch HBO on your TV, you can’t watch it online)
Comcast will open the service to 5,000 beta testers in the coming weeks. I’m just curious about how many more networks will sign up before it launches to everyone. The service already has the most of any online viewing site available with, all the major networks, HBO, Cinemax, Stars, TBS, TNT, and most of the cable stations.
CBS TO PARTICIPATE IN COMCAST’S ON DEMAND ONLINE
As the First Broadcaster To Participate, CBS Agrees to Test Standards and Principles for
“TV Everywhere” Model
NEW YORK and PHILADELPHIA, July 14, 2009 — CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A) and Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) announced today that CBS is the first broadcast network to participate in Comcast’s technical trial of On Demand Online. The new service will significantly expand the number of top-rated TV shows available online and across platforms at no additional charge to Comcast’s cable customers while delivering increased advertising value to content owners. During the course of the trial, CBS plans to test various types of current and library content.
“CBS and Comcast share the same vision of giving consumers more — more content, in more places,” said Matt Bond, Executive Vice President of Content Acquisition, Comcast Cable. “On Demand Online is a major step in extending consumers’ television experiences online, and ultimately across platforms by giving any television network, including top brands like CBS, the ability to make their content available on the Web.”
“CBS is very supportive of initiatives that help extend our content to new platforms in such a way that we gain new audiences and additional value for our advertisers,” said Quincy Smith, Chief Executive Officer, CBS Interactive. “Comcast is already a trusted platform to distribute CBS content on air as well as on demand; expanding this relationship online is a logical step. In addition, CBS’s strategy has always been about open, non-exclusive distribution of our content in a consumer friendly way, which is a core tenant of TV Everywhere and On Demand Online.”
CBS’s participation in Comcast’s technical trial comes on the heels of last month’s joint announcement between Time Warner Inc. and Comcast which introduced a set of principles called “TV Everywhere.” Developed by the two companies, the principles are designed to serve as a framework to facilitate deployment of online television content in a way that is consumer friendly and pro-competitive.
Comcast will begin its technical trial of On Demand Online with approximately 5,000 customers from across the U.S. in the coming weeks – the first national trial of its kind. A major focus of the trial is to test Comcast’s new “authentication” technology, which will allow Comcast customers to receive the same content online for free that they subscribe to on TV. The service will utilize a simple log-on system for streaming content and, in the future, will allow for download content to go. The On Demand Online service will roll-out in phases, adding new features, functionality and content over time to provide consumers with a new way to watch television.
On Demand Online is part of Comcast’s Project Infinity, the company’s long-term vision to give customers an ever growing amount of video content on multiple platforms, whenever they want.