Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Turner Broadcasting System have cut a deal that will give Comcast customers on demand access to full seasons of several Turner TV shows including TNT's The Last Ship, a Michael Bay drama.
The pact will give users of Comcast's Xfinity on-demand service access to the current and past seasons of shows on Turner networks including TNT, TBS, CNN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and truTV. The deal covers shows made by Turner's networks, not reruns of shows from other networks.
Comcast has been increasingly offering all episodes of current TV shows on its Xfinity service. In the past, cable operators have offered a handful of the most recent episodes on-demand, but Comcast is trying to beef up its offering to satisfy consumers who increasingly want to binge or catch up on entire seasons of shows. The MSO's deal with Turner gives Comcast customers the full current season of more than 400 shows, the company said, up from a handful a year ago.
Comcast says 70 percent of its subscriber base now uses video-on-demand service at least once a month. For its part, Turner executives believe its on demand deal with Comcast will give its shows a larger audience.
The Comcast-Turner agreement also provides a new way to sell ads in the on demand arena. Research shows more than half of on-demand viewing happens after the first three days, a Variety article said.
Comcast said in December it was working with Nielsen to determine ways to measure viewership of commercials inserted into on-demand programs.
Using dynamic ad insertion technology, Turner will be able to easily swap in new ads on the fourth day or later--on TV, as well as on tablets and smartphones. The inventory available from the deal will be part of what Turner offers advertisers at this spring's "upfront" ad sales market, which is kicking off this week. Turner meets advertisers on Wednesday to preview its coming programming.
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