James Helsby

Xfinity add expanded ABC and Fox selections to VOD service

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In a move that seems to be directed solely towards Netflix, Xfinity (Comcast) has added an expanded selection of show from ABC and Fox to its Video on Demand service.

Xfinity has had a significant jump of VOD watchers in the last year. Actually, they have had a 16% increase in watchers, going from 300Million views per month to 350Million. If you also factor in that Xfinity has advertising embedded into its VOD shows, you can imagine that this new and lucrative source of revenue is going to be paying out for a good long time.

Xfinity has reached an agreement with Fox and ABC to provide a larger selection of shows to the On Demand library, for convenience viewing. From Variety;

As of today, the nation’s largest cable operator is adding current series from ABC and Fox to its cable video-on-demand platform, making it the only subscription TV provider to offer contempo shows from each of the Big Four networks.

The agreement covers selected ABC and Fox shows for its Xfinity TV On Demand VOD channels but not its Xfinity.com Web streaming offering. CBS and NBC have made some shows available for VOD viewing on Comcast for the past several years.

As for TV shows, Comcast execs said the separate agreements with ABC and Fox came about largely because it’s becoming clear that subscribers are increasingly embracing the ability to watch shows on their own timetables via VOD. Xfinity TV On Demand is generating about 350 million views per month, up from 300 million this time last year. TV skeins are by far the largest driver of VOD viewing.

ABC is going to be providing an expanded selection of the shows; Body of Proof, Castle, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Cougar Town. But suprisingly enough, not Modern Family (which is actually produced by Fox.)

Fox will be providing; Glee, Family Guy, Cops (this is still on??), The Simpsons, Bones, and Fringe. But not American Idol.

The obvious reason why the single most popular shows on each channel are not being provided, is because Fox and ABC don’t want to steer too many people towards VOD, which would cause potential problems with advertisers on the shows regular scheduled time. The advertising money for American Idol would be partially redirected towards Comcast, and not towards Fox, so fox doesn’t want that.

Netflix, you may remember, recently signed an agreement with CBS to allow a larger increase in shows in Netflix’s streaming library, but since Netflix is subscription based and not advertising based, the payment for those shows comes from subscription fee’s, and not from and product sponsor. The Comcast / Xfinity method seems like a more logical way for the shows producers to release to the convenience crowd, who are finally able to get some of the shows they want… When they want them.

But how long will it take Nielson to update their methods to reflect DVR and VOD services? Probably another 10 years, considering how slow they move.


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