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Comcast Inks CBS Content for Streampix SVOD Platform

3 Oct, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Cable operator’s largely ignored subscription video-on-demand service ups an agreement with CBS for its first significant third-party content

Comcast’s largely forgotten subscription video-on-demand platform, Xfinity Streampix, Oct. 3 received a lifeline of sorts following the signing of an expanded content license agreement with CBS.

The new deal will increase availability of the network’s content offered on both Streampix and Xfinity On Demand, giving Xfinity TV customers more opportunities to catch up and stay current on a bigger selection of CBS' shows, including “The Good Wife,” the WB’s “Charmed,” “2 Broke Girls,” “Person of Interest” and “The Mentalist,” as well as new series “The Crazy Ones” and “Mom,” among others.

Streampix is supplemental SVOD platform available to Xfinity broadband subscribers, as well as standalone for $4.99 a month. Though launched more than two years ago, it is rarely mentioned by Comcast executives on fiscal calls, underscoring the expense required to license content (besides NBC Universal) not earmarked for Hulu and Hulu Plus, which the cable operator co-owns.

The license agreements underscore ongoing changes in CBS primetime viewership. Nearly 50% of some CBS shows are now watched on demand, CEO Les Moonves told analysts during the media company’s most recent fiscal call. Indeed, playback of the network’s programming on DVRs into the current primetime season is up 16% from the same period last year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

CBS believes Nielsen will soon expand its C3 rating to C7, to include viewers who watch primetime programming up to seven days past its initial broadcast.

The network has said expanding delayed access to summer replacement hit “Under the Dome” helped up total viewers and the show’s overall success, including its complete-season packaged-media release.

“Adding Streampix as an SVOD partner will enable more fans to catch up on past episodes and in turn support in-season viewership. And it also provides CBS with yet another way to monetize our content,” Scott Koondel, chief corporate content licensing officer with CBS, said in a statement.

Indeed, offering more current-season content on demand can help lift a show’s ratings by giving viewers an opportunity to catch up on a buzzed-about show, stay current as the season progresses and ultimately watch the show as it airs live to participate in water cooler talk the next day.

“As more and more customers turn to our platform to catch up and keep up with their favorite shows, we will continue to expand both our selection of current season TV choices with Xfinity On Demand, as well as our collection of past TV favorites through Xfinity Streampix. Our expanded partnership with CBS is an important addition to our ever-growing catalog and provides even greater value to our customers,” said Matt Strauss, SVP and GM of video services with Comcast.

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