Friday, July 10, 2009

Starz To Join Comcast's On-Demand Online Test

Comcast has come up with its own strategy to keep its customers happy in a multiplatform world. Partnering with cable programmers like Starz to allow viewing of content on different screens. "Starz Entertainment is in the mix for Comcast's On-Demand Online test, set to launch this month, with the premium programmer planning to initially make 300 movies and other original programming available through and to Starz subscribers for no additional charge." Starz joins other programmers like TNT, AMC, and Scripps to bring VOD like content to the PC.

It certainly provides additive value to the cable subscription. My biggest question is how do I watch when I am "on the road". Certainly I would rather watch these shows and movies on my big TV screen so having the choice to watch on a PC inside my house does little to whet my appetite. The ability to take my subscription on the go, whether on vacation or even in the office is much more appealing. How Comcast can authenticate me as a subscriber outside their wired garden will deem whether this strategy succeeds or fails. "Comcast will randomly select the 5,000 customers from across the U.S. in the coming weeks, with a focus on testing the company's authentication technology. The service will use a log-on system for streaming content and, in the future, will allow for download content to go." We will have to wait and see how well this works.

Should it prove successful, it could do what Hulu and cannot; keep cable subscribers from dropping their service to become a broadband only home.

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