Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the country's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, and Rentrak Corporation (Nasdaq: RENT) today announced that they will begin making monthly on-demand reports available for no charge to participating video on demand content providers. Using Rentrak's OnDemand Essentials(TM) measurement system, Comcast will be able to provide anonymous, non-personally identifiable information about how customers are using VOD. The availability of timely, accurate reports is important for programmers and advertisers as VOD continues to experience tremendous growth and changes the way people watch television.
This extends an earlier agreement for Comcast to use Rentrak's OnDemand Essentials system to internally analyze data across four standardized metrics: the number of VOD-enabled set-top boxes in a Designated Market Area; total views by program per month; the number of unique set-top boxes viewing a program by month; and the total minutes viewed by program per month. Each content provider will only receive program-specific reports for their own content.
"Our ON DEMAND business is on track to reach more than one billion views in 2005, and accurate and timely measurement is the next step in the evolution of VOD," said Page Thompson, Vice President and General Manager of Comcast ON DEMAND. "We're pleased to continue our work with Rentrak to launch a reporting system across all of our Comcast ON DEMAND markets, which will help make VOD one of the most accurately measured media available." Comcast ON DEMAND is available to nearly 85% of the company's customers and features more than 3,000 titles that customers can watch at any time, including movies, premium channel programs, sports and fitness programs, children's programming, music videos, instructional videos and news and information. More than 95% of programs on Comcast ON DEMAND are available at no additional charge. In 2004, Comcast Digital Cable customers viewed 567 million ON DEMAND programs, and the average household now uses ON DEMAND 23 times a month. Additionally, Comcast Spotlight, Comcast's advertising sales division, can offer advertisers the ability to place VOD advertising in all VOD-enabled markets. The new usage reports will help provide advertisers with the data they need to take advantage of cable's unique capabilities. "Providing relevant data on a timely basis is crucial to building a viable VOD advertising business," said Warren Schlicting, Vice President, New Business Strategy. "We are committed to providing this data and understand the critical role it plays in the new free TV model that's being developed on VOD."
Added Ken Papagan, Executive Vice President, New Business Development and Strategic Planning at Rentrak, "We're pleased to expand our relationship with Comcast, the industry leader in on demand. Rentrak's OnDemand Essentials can provide more efficient and accurate measurement of VOD usage across all MSOs." Timely, accurate, aggregate VOD usage reports will be available to all programmers supplying VOD content and to advertisers at no charge within 10 days of the end of each month. Data will be consolidated for the country as a whole for each of the programmers' on-demand programs. General trends will show how a programmer's usage is trending as compared to overall VOD usage. All data is anonymous and cannot be traced back to individual users or specific set-top boxes.
About OnDemand Essentials
OnDemand Essentials provides cable operators, content providers (includingbroadcast/cable networks, studios) and advertisers with a real-time transactional tracking and reporting system to view and analyze on-demand content. The product is an extension of Rentrak's Essentials suite of business intelligence products customized for the entertainment industry. OnDemand Essentials clients have password protected, real-time, web browser-based 24x7 access to on-demand onsumer usage data at various access levels based on business and privacy rules and requirements. A sophisticated toolset aggregates and reports data across multiple vendors in one easy-to-use report system. Clients using the OnDemand Essentials system are able to instantly analyze and interpret their own business data to identify trends, program and promote more effectively by identifying trends, as well as track their performance against the broader business sector in which they operate. Cablevision, Comcast Cable and Insight Communications are using Rentrak's OnDemand Essentials service. Music Choice was previously announced as the first content provider to subscribe to the service.
About Rentrak Corporation
Rentrak Corporation, a Portland, Oregon-based information management and business intelligence company, is the developer of the Essentials(TM) suite of information management products that are used by clients in the media, entertainment, retail and manufacturing industries. Through the specialized vertical market editions of the Essentials web-based applications that are customized to the needs of each licensee, marketers are able to collect, manage and analyze detailed point-of-sale and supply chain data on a real-time basis. The Essentials(TM) suite of services offers bottom-line enhancing and competitive advantages to executives by providing timely and actionable
insight into both their own company's performance, as well as perspective from access to aggregated industry-wide data. For further information, please refer to Rentrak's corporate Web site at http://www.rentrak.com . About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the
nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.5 million cable customers and 7 million high-speed Internet customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network, G4, International Channel Networks, TV One and four Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.