Comcast Gets Turner Content On Demand13 May, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
No. 1 cabler allowing subscribers to binge-watch catalog TV shows
Comcast May 13 ramped up efforts to circumvent subscription-streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video by signing a content license agreement with Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting.
Under the deal, Comcast’s Xfinity broadband subs would have unlimited access to original catalog programs from TNT, TBS, CNN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and truTV. Unique to the deal is that Xfinity subs will have access all full current seasons of more than 400 TV shows on demand.
Programs include alien invasion thriller “Falling Skies,” “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown,” “Ceelo Green’s The Good Life,” and upcoming maritime drama “The Last Ship” from Michael Bay.
Comcast has been an industry leader in video-on-demand, but upped the ante following Netflix’s success with binge-viewing of original programs such as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black,” and the fact that 70% of its subs use VOD at least once a month.
“The vast majority of the value, we believe, is in the current season,” Matthew Strauss, SVP of video services at Comcast, told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal. “More and more programmers are leaning into on-demand.”
Indeed, Comcast found that offering complete back-seasons upped viewership of current seasons. CBS’s “The Good Wife” and FX’s “The Americans” saw ratings bumps of 25% and 18%, respectively, in Comcast households, compared with declines of 14% and 29%, respectively in non-Comcast homes, according to Nielsen data.
“The opportunity to go back and invest time and energy in a show is a key element,” said David Levy, president of Turner. “It's important for the growth of our new programming.”