Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the country's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, continues to change the way people watch television, today announcing that more than one billion programs have been viewed on the company's ON DEMAND service to date this year.
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With this announcement, the company is on track to surpass previous expectations that one billion ON DEMAND programs would be viewed in 2005 alone. Last year, Comcast customers viewed 567 million video on demand programs. ON DEMAND views are IP streams of video content that are delivered to customers' television sets via Comcast's next-generation fiber network. Launched in late 2002 in Philadelphia, ON DEMAND is now available in all of the company's major markets.
"One billion views in less than 10 months proves that ON DEMAND is transforming the way people watch TV," said Page Thompson, Vice President and General Manager of Comcast ON DEMAND. "Customers love the convenience of watching what they want, when they want. We have added thousands of hours of programs in less than three years and will continue to dramatically expand our ON DEMAND lineup in the months ahead to give our customers even more value."
Comcast's ON DEMAND service offers a growing library of more than 3,800 programs available any time customers want to watch them - with the ability to fast forward, rewind and pause selections. Nearly 95% of ON DEMAND programs are available at no additional charge, and some of the most-viewed categories include:
Music, featuring hundreds of music videos, concerts, interviews and behind-the-scenes programming
Movies, with hundreds of Hollywood hits and all-time classics at no additional charge
Sports, with cable-exclusive highlights of fans' favorite sports, teams and athletes, including the NFL, NBA and NHL, as well as NASCAR highlights
Children's programming, providing educational and entertaining programs for children of all ages, from pre-school to pre-teen
The most watched free ON DEMAND program to date in 2005 is Ciara's music video "1, 2 Step," with more than 3.2 million views. Ciara also holds the number two spot for her video "Oh," featuring Ludacris. Leading the way among most-watched children's programs is SpongeBob SquarePants with 1.3 million views of "The Chaperone" episode. A "view" begins when a customer selects a program from the ON DEMAND menu and ends when it is deleted from the saved program file. Pauses, rewinds or fast-forwards and restarts are considered part of the original "view."
In 2005, Comcast added hundreds of hours of free ON DEMAND programs, including movies and TV shows from the Sony Pictures library; Hispanic programming from leading networks; music videos; and a more robust kids' programming lineup under the PBS KIDS Sprout name. For sports fans, ON DEMAND now offers the second season of NFL Network On Demand's NFL Replay -- featuring 10-15 minute highlights of every NFL game the day after they're played -- along with NHL weekly highlights, an around-the-league show called "Facing Off" and an Icebreakers category to help fans get caught up on NHL rule changes and an NBA Season Preview beginning October 20.
In Comcast's most mature VOD markets, more than 75% of digital cable customers have used the service in the previous 90 days, with more recently launched markets showing similar usage trends. On average, homes with ON DEMAND are using the service more than 20 times per month.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.4 million cable customers, 7.7 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.2 million voice 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, OLN, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional 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. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.