Light Reading
Comcast has officially launched Xfinity on Campus, a free streaming TV service for colleges and universities.

Comcast Streams Back to School

Mari Silbey
8/21/2014
50%
50%

Comcast has officially taken the wraps off of Xfinity on Campus, a streaming video service for college campuses that delivers approximately 80 live TV channels and thousands of on-demand titles to students' Internet-connected devices -- no set-top required.

The free Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) service initially launched as a trial at Boston's Emerson College in 2013. Starting this fall, Xfinity on Campus will become available at Bridgewater College, Drexel University, Lasell College and the University of Delaware. Comcast notes that several additional schools, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of New Hampshire, will also test the service this year. A spokesperson added that the MSO "can scale the service to hundreds more within our footprint."

Comcast isn't the first US company to target college campuses with a streaming video service. Startup company Philo (formerly Tivli) has already lined up at least nine university customers for its IP-based, multiscreen TV solution, including Fort Hays State, Harvard, Pepperdine, Roanoke, Stanford, University of Washington, Wesleyan, William Patterson, and Yale. Philo's financial backers include Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) and Mark Cuban's Radical Investments fund.

Philo has one key advantage over Comcast in that it's not limited to an existing service footprint. However, Philo's system for aggregating pay-TV content is far more complex.

In some cases, Philo collects over-the-air TV signals from an antenna owned by the host university and retransmits them over IP. (The closed university network keeps Philo from running afoul of copyright laws.) In other cases, Philo partners with a local pay-TV provider that has already paid retransmission fees. And in still other cases, Philo partners with programmers directly. The company signed a deal with HBO for example, to give Harvard students access to HBO Go.

From a features standpoint, the Philo service includes a cloud-based interactive program guide and DVR capabilities. Students can't access video away from school, however, as the service is restricted to campus grounds. (See Tales of Tivli: Taking TVE to School.)

Xfinity on Campus doesn't include DVR service yet, but Comcast says that feature is on the way. The Comcast offering also lets students watch TV off school grounds by signing in to TV Everywhere sites with their university credentials. Subscribers can add paid channels to the service, including HBO, Showtime, Starz and a Sports Entertainment Package that features "popular channels like ESPN Goal Line."


Get the latest updates on new IP video services by visiting Light Reading's IP video content channel.


With younger cohorts gravitating more toward free online entertainment, cable companies are anxious to woo college students with attractive premium television services. The idea is that if the operators can hook students while they're still young, they can set a pattern for television subscription that extends beyond the college years. Even though Comcast's university service is free, the investment in young viewers has the potential to produce lucrative returns over the long term.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(20)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/24/2014 | 6:11:55 AM
Re: Driven to distraction
Ariella, 

So then it was sort of a pointless thing? Not necessarily followed up with papers on them, but at least discussions that could lead to something, at least to develop critical thinking. Many things can be done with a film used in a class. 

-Susan 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/24/2014 | 6:03:08 AM
Re: Driven to distraction
mendyk, 

Yes, yes. Now I see. I was in the false expectation that this could be used to take advantage of technological tools available for some educational project. Maybe some teachers will see the potential and do something positive with it. Maybe not.  

Coke machines in dorms? Well, let's see what all this will do to the students. Nothing brilliant, or healthy can come out of this. 

Bugs Bunny is a genius. 

-Susan
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2014 | 9:39:31 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
@Susan yes, and you can have a serious film class, as well. But this teacher knew that this was just a way to keep some very weak students occupied. They seemed to have just watched the films and not to have followed up with serious papers on them. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2014 | 4:47:03 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
Pretty much everything I know about opera I learned from Bugs Bunny. If you look at the details of this initiative, you will see there is absolutely NOTHING here to do with some sort of grand educational plan. Just like there's nothing inherently uplifting about sticking Coke machines in dorms. It's all perfectly fine and legal. And ultimately pointless.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/23/2014 | 1:02:03 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
mendyk, 

"There's nothing in the story to suggest that this has anything to do with edumicational programming."

That doesn't mean there is no educational program behind this. This can easily be used as a teaching tool.    

Video, film, music, recorded TV shows have been used for a long time as part of educational programs. There are even specialized courses for teachers about how to use these as teaching tools.   

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/23/2014 | 12:05:16 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
Ariella, 

"I know of someone who taught a class that consisted of nothing but films."

Do you know what class the teacher was teaching? Or, was it contemporary culture? 

Many films have been used for classes but a class that consisted of nothing but films sounds intriguing, creative, and nice.

-Susan 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2014 | 12:00:04 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
Yes, it does seem interesting that the colleges would go for this, but on the other hand getting this "extra" feature into their system would probably help recruit and keep students at the school. It certainly is a blantant marketing tool for Comcast no matter that it is free.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 4:34:55 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
The big soft-drink companies and their high-school administration enablers took a lot of justifiable heat for this kind of market seeding (cheap soda in school cafeterias). Given the potential disruption that video services can have on student behavior, I wonder why video providers and their college administration enablers don't come under the same criticisms.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 4:27:31 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
Very true statement... this is an obvious marketing strategy aimed at making sure people need their cable television from an early age. 

I would prefer to read a book or go outside, honestly. But I can't deny that I don't watch video. Of course, I am of the generation that does so via streaming media. 
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 2:19:52 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
@mendyK You can't top truth for strangeness.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (3) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection – That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, Universal, Intel and Microsoft, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.