With competition for eyeballs growing, Comcast knows that its on demand serve must be the biggest and the best. Combined with its Fancast streaming platform, Comcast can push its subscription value to its consumers. But to stay competitive and valued, the supply must continue to grow. Thus the latest deal to add more shows to its library of on demand.
"The largest U.S. cable-television company will include TV series from Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ABC and News Corp.’s Fox for the first time, including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Glee,” the Philadelphia-based company said in a statement. Comcast will offer the four most recent episodes of each series on demand beginning tomorrow. Comcast is competing against other cable and satellite providers and online sites including Google Inc. (GOOG)’s YouTube and Netflix Inc. for viewers and advertisers. With the show additions, Comcast said it becomes the first pay-TV provider to offer original series from NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox on demand." Ahhhh, here those key differentiation words, first and original. Clearly, Comcast is feeling the pressure from these over the top providers as well as from telcos like Fios who will announce their own extended deals as well.
The on demand space isn't perfect. Some agreements will limit trick features like fast forward, a win for advertisers. For viewers that don't mind, it means more flexibility to watch on your terms and not on a schedule. And for those that know how to use their DVR, a non-issue. The day will come where every show is on demand and that could make DVRs unnecessary. Until then, Comcast and others will continue to push to increase their on demand library.