Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has gone to the cloud to present its programming. On the surface, the MSO is expanding its iPad and Android powered tablets capabilities with a "play now" feature to watch on-demand content. Later this year it will take that feature into the home for computer and phone connectivity with the TV. Beneath the surface, Comcast is unabashedly flexing its network and programming muscles for consumers and, more importantly, programmers.
"I think we can change the perception of our company," said Brian Roberts, Comcast's chairman-CEO speaking at the Citi 21st Annual Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. "Our job is to build an architecture to allow you to consume any way that you want: subscription, a la carte, show by show, by bookmark, if the content rights holder wants to sell it that way."
The key to the Comcast play is to offer up the options and let the content providers decide what to charge as long as Comcast has authorized the subscriber's ability to watch.
"Our architecture needs to know it's you, whether you're in the home, out of the home, whether it's your first device or your tenth device and (content owners) can choose to price it how they want to do," Roberts said. "The consumer doesn't want to know any of that; the consumer wants to just push a button and make it happen. I think we're in that business; make it easy and be the best at this."
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