Bringing More Video On Demand Choices to More Customers Through the Comcast-TWC Transaction
Today marks the start of our third annual Xfinity Watchathon Week, offering Xfinity TV customers an all-access pass to 215 of the hottest shows from premium, cable, and broadcast networks for free on Xfinity On Demand. Do you need to catch up on Cookie Lyon’s epic one-liners? Starting today, we’ve got the entire season of Empire – the number one watched show on Xfinity On Demand for the past 6 weeks – ready for binge watching. Wondering if the Dothraki will take all of Westeros? Catch up on all the past seasons of Game of Thrones this week – or dozens of others from top networks including HBO, Showtime, Starz, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and more. You can prep for this epic week of binge viewing at XFINITY’s Watchathon headquarters and feel free to take advantage of our "Good Excuse Generator" so you can watch undisturbed.
One of the most exciting consumer benefits of our pending transaction with Time Warner Cable will be the extension of Comcast’s industry leading on demand content and TV Everywhere offerings to new markets like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Charlotte. With the ability to watch what you want, when you want, wherever you are, Watchathon Week is one of the best examples to showcase the breadth and depth of Comcast’s commitment to video on demand (VOD) and TV Everywhere. Last year, Xfinity TV customers spent nearly 50 million hours catching up on the hottest shows of the season during Watchathon Week. In fact, all that binging led to a massive surge in live ratings for season premieres for Watchathon participating series. An astonishing 61 million pieces of on demand content were viewed altogether with Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Good Wife serving as the three most popular shows for the week. With all the success of our now annual Watchathon Week, we are excited to bring all of our world-class entertainment to new viewers.
We’ve been pioneers in VOD, over the past ten years we’ve made major investments in Xfinity On Demand and we’ve watched it grow in popularity and consumption as a result.
Today, Xfinity On Demand is the most robust video on demand platform in the world with more than 55,000 choices – while TWC has approximately 20,000 – of hit movies and current TV shows, most of which are available for free as part of the customer’s subscription. Currently, our customers watch nearly 3 billion hours each year on Xfinity On Demand and 70 percent of our customers use Xfinity On Demand every month, making it one of the most-viewed platforms in the industry. Through the transaction, TWC customers will gain access to our extensive library of content so that they can enjoy even more entertainment options than ever before.
With the Xfinity TV Go app, customers have access to 80 live TV channels and more than 22,000 on demand choices. Additionally online via xfinitytv.com, customers can stream the same amount of live channels and also have access to more than 477,000 entertainment choices to watch on demand. We currently authenticate more than 90 networks such as ESPN, Disney, HBO, and Showtime across 18 devices such as your iPad, Roku, Xbox, and smartphone among others. And usage across all of these platforms continues to grow – more than 30 percent of Xfinity TV customers use TV Everywhere to tune into their favorite networks on-the-go. TWC’s TV Everywhere offering has 51 live TV channels and 3,000 on demand choices out of the home. Once the transaction closes, we look forward to extending our industry-leading TV Everywhere experience to even more customers in TWC markets.
Today, Xfinity customers can rent and purchase movies and TV shows directly from the TV through Xfinity On Demand, or online through Xfinity.com/store.
Through the Xfinity On Demand Digital Store, customers can purchase their favorite movies and TV shows to own and access anytime, anywhere, on any device, often several weeks ahead of DVD release. We were the first pay-TV provider in the county to sell Digital HD content for download and streaming and, since its launch in 2013, the offerings in the Xfinity On Demand Digital Store have continued to grow through agreements with Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, and MGM among others. We’re routinely one of the top digital retailers in the country for new releases. And we know customers love building their movie and TV collections since 46 percent of customers who own a movie or TV show on Xfinity own more than one and, on average, they own at least two movies and/or four TV episodes. Through the transaction, TWC customers will have access to an electronic sell-through service for the first time so that they can enjoy the latest hit movies and TV shows when they want, where they want.
In order to better take advantage of these seemingly infinite entertainment choices, Comcast developed the renowned X1 Entertainment Operating System to ensure faster, smarter, easier and more personalized access to the best content across all devices. The X1 platform utilizes cloud-based technology and Comcast’s extensive network to allow customers to access their favorite shows, movies, and content on their TV, smartphone, tablet, or PC. The X1 interface for TVs, PCs, and mobile devices enables customers to manage content from any screen, wherever they watch. This integration also adds the flexibility to begin an on demand program on one device, such as the TV, and then resume it where they left off on another device, such as a tablet or PC. And, customers with X1 cloud DVR technology have the flexibility to watch their recordings anytime, anywhere via the Xfinity TV app – in and out of the home – and access virtually their entire channel line-up on any screen in the home. Through the transaction, TWC customers will have access to this next-generation entertainment viewing experience so that they can search, navigate, and discover tens of thousands of movies and shows in a simple, fast, and intuitive way.
Last week, programmers voiced support for our efforts to unlock the most exciting hit shows and movies during Watchathon Week. And our commitments to the future of TV are just some of the reasons nearly 40 programmers like ASPiRE, BabyFirst Americas, El Rey Network, Hallmark, Outside Television, Ovation, REELZ, REVOLT, and Starz have submitted letters in the record supporting our transaction with TWC.
Brad Samuels, Executive Vice President of Distribution at Ovation said, "Comcast also added Ovation to its Xfinity on Demand service in 2012, increasing our network's VOD reach to more than 25 million US households, and offers the same Ovation programs to their customers through their various TV Everywhere platforms."
And REELZ, in its letter to the FCC, said, "Comcast has been a collaborative partner in other ways as well, such as by offering REELZ’s Video On Demand content, by being a party to the small, but growing, distribution of the network in HD, and by participating in many of the network’s national promotions."
We’re proud of our industry-leading X1 and Xfinity On Demand platform and, with the success of events like Watchathon, it has proven to be a real game changer for our customers as well as our programming partners. We’re always listening to customers and working with industry partners to innovate and enhance the TV viewer’s experience by making more choices available on more platforms. We look forward to more than doubling the on demand programming choices for TWC customers and bringing the future of TV to TWC markets once our transaction closes.