Comcast Ups College Live-TV Streaming Access9 Sep, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
With colleges and universities back in session, odds are increasing numbers of students aren’t congregating around dorm big-screen televisions in their free time. Instead, coeds are consuming video entertainment on tablets, laptops and mobile phones. In fact, millennials spend 57% of their time watching TV on portable devices, according to consultant Deloitte.
As a result, Comcast Cable has expanded access to Xfinity On Campus, a live-TV streaming service, from seven schools to 27, including Dartmouth, Loyola University (Maryland), Yale, and Sonoma State, among others. Instead of requiring a subscription fee, Xfinity On Campus is included in room-and-board charges paid to the school. Students access programing with their school ID credentials.
According to student viewing data, millennials watch live programming almost twice as much (62%) as on-demand content (38%) — much of it live sports.
Of the top 20 live programs watched by Xfinity On Campus users, 50% were live sporting events, accounting for 78% of total viewing. In addition, most students tuned to Xfinity On Demand to catch up on shows like “Game of Thrones,” “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “Grey's Anatomy” and “Modern Family.”
Comcast plans to add a cloud-based DVR and transition to a new consolidated Xfinity TV app — the latter enabling students access to their entire content line up while on the campus network or off.
The cabler eyes Xfinity On Campus as a testing ground for other possible subscription streaming services to heretofore un-addressable pay-TV markets and consumers.
“We’ll continue to create new ways for people to watch the movies and shows they love, and experiment with offerings that attract new audiences,” Marcien Jenckes, EVP of consumer services for Comcast Cable, wrote in a blog post.