Comcast Covering Its Bases
11:00 AM -- Over the past week I’ve noticed a stepped-up television ad campaign for Fancast, Comcast’s on-line video portal. Fancast has over “4,000 hours of free” video content, including full episodes of current and past television shows (need to satisfy that A-Team craving?) and movies, trailers, clips, etc.
The ad campaign has interesting timing -- right in the middle of Comcast’s bandwidth management controversy, where they intend to slap the hands of cable modem customers who use too much bandwidth. Unless, of course, that consumption is a result of downloading video from Fancast.
But I digress.
I actually think Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) deserves some credit here. Among all traditional and emerging multichannel video service providers, Comcast seems to be the one most aggressive with covering all the bases of video distribution. Their investment in Fancast and thePlatform, among others, demonstrates they hope to be a long-term player in all potential platforms for delivering video and entertainment services.
I don’t see other MSOs or telco TV providers doing the same -- perhaps at their own peril. I’m not totally sold on Internet video being so disruptive that it kills the subscription pay TV model, but there’s no denying its growing influence. Comcast is laying the groundwork to prevail, whatever the outcome.
— Bernardin Arnason, Managing Partner, Pivot Group , and Chairman, TelcoTV 2008
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