Video services

Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

Welcome to the Hump Day edition of the cable news roundup.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) says its customers have watched 20 billion "entertainment choices" on-demand since the MSO launched VoD service in 2003. Warner Bros.'s The Hangover is its top pay-VoD movie to date. Here's how the MSO's VoD views and choices have stacked up so far:

  • CableOne has not set a timeline for when it expects to restore service in Joplin, Mo., following the devastating tornado that ripped through the town. "There are still some areas that we can't get into," a spokesperson told The Joplin Globe.

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is relying on a "branded entertainment" program about home design on Lifetime to help market U-verse TV. (See AT&T Touts the U-Verse Reality.)

  • Comcast insists its rates in Boston are "highly competitive," as it battles the city's attempts to regulate pricing.

  • Walmart's VUDU Inc. movie rental service will get a dedicated button on remote controls for connected TVs and Blu-ray players from Vizio Inc. -- a move that follows a similar strategy by Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) (See Entone Crafting VUDU-Powered Cable Boxes .)

  • Challenging Best Buy's Geek Squad, Comcast launched its Xfinity Signature Support service in Boston. (See Comcast Debuts Xfinity Signature Support .)

  • Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) launched a second-screen social TV site called HBO Connect, encouraging subscribers to interact with friends while watching Entourage, True Blood and other originals.

  • Advanced ad firm BlackArrow Inc. named Laurel Gilbert -- late of Sigma Systems , Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Digeo Inc. and Starz Entertainment LLC -- to EVP, service provider solutions. (See NDS Leads $20M Bet on BlackArrow.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • SteveDonohue 12/5/2012 | 5:04:19 PM
    re: Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

    Comcast's 20 billion VOD views is a milestone worth noting. But the MSO may be able to spark more interest from advetisers in its free VOD platform if it offered a more detailed breakdown of how subscribers are using VOD. Nielsen releases lists of the top programs on broadcast and basic cable each week. Where are similar numbers from Comcast or its VOD research supplier Rentrak? What's the most popular free VOD program? Which cable or broadcast network has hottest programs on VOD? Where's this week's top 10? What is the average length of a viewing session for a VOD program? Comcast and other MSOs are looking to drive new revenue through VOD advertising, but media buyers won't invest in VOD without real data. 


    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:04:18 PM
    re: Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

    All I can tell you is that at least on the TV series VOD views I now get ads from Comcast.  I haven't VODed a movie in a bit, outside of Turner Classic Movies (which were still ad free).  Not sure if there are previews or anything on more up to date movies.



    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:04:16 PM
    re: Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

    Are the 20 billion VOD views inclusive of pornography? And would they tell us if it were?


    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:04:15 PM
    re: Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

    Phil Harvey Does Dallas was the number one viewed Title.

    Followed closely by the Lightreading Editorial Hangover Edition..... :)




    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:04:15 PM
    re: Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

    Those are marketing videos.

    Marketing what? I have no idea.

    SteveDonohue 12/5/2012 | 5:04:14 PM
    re: Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

    I asked Comcast to detail what percentage of its VOD traffic is from adult titles, but it said that it doesn't break out views for adult programming. The 20 billion VOD views since 2003 does include porn. Titles from Playboy, Hustler, and other porn suppliers are a huge money maker for Comcast and other pay TV providers, but it's a topic cable executives will rarely discuss. 60 Minutes ran an interesting segment on "Porn in the USA" in 2006, and wasn't able to get any cable executives to discuss the topic on camera. 

    digits 12/5/2012 | 5:04:13 PM
    re: Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

    I believe the director's cut of the Phil Harvey title is due out soon, with previously unseen footage of Phil deleting message board posts while dressed as Larry the Light Reading Attack Monkey... 

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:04:12 PM
    re: Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

    Right, they don't divulge adult VoD numbers or break them out, but I recall being told that the margins on that stuff is almost criminal.... it was PPV's dirty little secret back in the day, so it follows that it could be VoD's as well.  JB

    desiEngineer 12/5/2012 | 5:04:03 PM
    re: Comcast Notches 20 Billion VoD Views

    I'm hoping that when I sign up for Comcast high speed Xfinity, some call center technician will typo my order and enable free steaming video :-)


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