Comcast is opening access to on-demand content from Showtime, Epix and other services for all of its Xfinity X1 and Flex subscribers as the coronavirus keeps people at home.
Along with the on-demand catalogs from Showtime and Epix, X1 subscribers can also access CuriosityStream, HISTORY Vault, Grokker Yoga Fitness & Wellbeing, The Reading Corner and DOGTV. All of the previews will be available for 30 days except CuriosityStream, which will be available for 60 days and limited to the top 300 titles. Flex customers get access to everything above, too, with the exception of the Showtime preview, which on Flex only includes 30 days of select free originals starting with "City On A Hill" and "Kidding."
“This is an unprecedented time and we want to be there for our customers to help make the time they’re spending at home easier with free previews from our network, studio and streaming partners,” said Rebecca Heap, senior vice president of video and entertainment at Comcast, in a statement.
Comcast Xfinity said it plans to open up more preview content from new networks, studios and streaming partners on a rolling basis over the coming weeks.
Verizon also said that it will give its Fios TV subscribers 30 days of free access to Showtime, Epix and Gaiam TV Fit and Yoga beginning April 1. The company is also providing 60 days of free access to educational resources including Quizlet, Bookful, Chegg and Epic, and expanding access to programming including news and entertainment channels like Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Discovery Family and BBC America.
Comcast’s and Verizon's announcements follows similar moves from AT&T and Charter as service providers institute temporary measures to help meet the needs of Americans during the coronavirus crisis.
Charter said it will provide both Showtime and Epix at no additional charge through Sunday, April 19 to Spectrum TV customers who do not currently receive those channels.
“We hope that by expanding these programming options it will provide even more hours of entertainment for our customers in these challenging times,” said Tom Montemagno, executive vice president of programming acquisition for Charter, in a statement. “The highly-popular original entertainment programming and movies on these networks will be of great interest to a large cross-section of our customers.”
AT&T is also offering a series of free premium channel previews for all its DirecTV and U-verse video subscribers. It starts with Showtime until March 26, followed by Starz from March 26 to April 2, Epix from April 2 to April 16, and HBO from April 17 to April 20.
AT&T is also making a long list of entertainment and movie channels available for free for its DirecTV and U-verse subscribers who don’t already get the programming.
Sling TV is expanding its free service offer to give new customers 14 days free of the full Sling TV Blue package. The company said that until April 5, no credit card or subscription will be required to get the service.
This article was updated to add information about offers from Verizon Fios and Sling TV and clarify the free preview offer for Xfinity Flex customers.