Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
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   >   >>
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
New Apple TV: More $$, Not Content – Report
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/31/2015
Ex-AlcaLu Boss Tasked With Bolstering Altice
Iain Morris, News Editor, 9/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 16, 2015
Wi-Fi First or Second?
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.