CBS Joins Comcast's Web TV Scheme

Posted: Jul 14 2009, 11:30am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 3:20pm CDT , in Technology News


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About three weeks ago Comcast announced that they had a bold new plan to save TV. Instead of broadcasting shows on cable alone and losing millions of viewers to torrent sites, they decided to start offering free, steaming online TV to their cable subscribers. It was a brilliant plan, and now it looks like it's starting to pick up steam. CBS has just agreed to join Comcast's On Demand Online trial.

By signing on with Comcast, CBS joins Time Warner (all of the Turner channels, plus HBO), Liberty Media (Starz), Scripps, Rainbow, and A&E. CBS is currently the only broadcaster signed up for the On Demand Online trial, which will include some 5,000 customers around the nation. The trial is set to begin within the next few weeks, and will hopefully follow with a full scale launch in time for the holiday TV season.

I really do think that Comcast is on to something big here. Most people with Internet connections also have cable of some sort. By giving people the option of watching their favorite shows whenever they want online Comcast is killing a great deal of the impetus people have to torrent. If you're already paying for cable, you might as well watch your shows for free online instead of wasting bandwidth with a torrent. This service won't convert the folks who don't pay for cable either and just torrent everything, but those people are a minority that the networks are never going to get money from.

On Demand Online is just the beginning for Comcast. It's one parrt of their Project Infinity plan, which is a “...long-term vision to give customers an ever growing amount of video content on multiple platforms, whenever they want.” That sounds pretty good to me. What about you?

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