Just hours after announcing that Tosh.0, South Park and other Viacom (NYSE: VIA)-owned series were the most popular programs on its video-on-demand platform in 2011, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) unveiled a new Streampix subscription video service for the Web and mobile platforms that doesn't include Viacom shows.
Wendi McLendon-Covey accepts the 2011 Xfinity On Demand Award for Most-Viewed New Release Movie on behalf of "Bridesmaids." (Courtesy Comcast /Getty Images)
Complete seasons of several TV series and movies will be available through Streampix, including original series and movies from Comcast's NBCUniversal, Disney-ABC Television Group, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. But Streampix won't include content from several key programming suppliers, including Viacom, News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA), Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA), Turner Broadcasting and Scripps Networks.
Comcast spokeswoman Alana Davis said that Comcast is talking to other content owners, and expects to add complete seasons from other networks to Streampix soon. She also noted that Comcast already offers several episodes from the current season of several Viacom-owned TV series through its Xfinity online video portal and mobile video applications.
Comcast is using Streampix to drive sales of triple-play bundles, and to help market faster tiers of high-speed Internet access. It will offer free access to Streampix content to customers that spend at least $139 monthly on a triple-play package, or order triple-plays that include its 30 Mbps, 50 Mbps or 105 Mbps wideband Internet products. It will also offer access to Streampix series and TV shows for $4.99 monthly to subscribers that take other programming packages.
TV series with complete seasons available on Streampix include NBC's 30 Rock, Heroes and The Office, and ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Lost and Ugly Betty.
Last month, Comcast struck a broad distribution agreement with Disney (NYSE: DIS) that allows it to distribute content from ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC Family and other networks on the Web and mobile devices.
Streampix could help Comcast stave off competition from Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), but the top online video provider already offers subscribers to its $7.99 monthly streaming video service access to previous seasons of popular Viacom-owned shows such as South Park. Viacom also recently struck a deal with Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) that will give its Amazon Prime Instant Video access to 2,000 titles online, and let Amazon users watch Viacom series through the new Kindle Fire tablet.
Viacom titles such as Tosh.0 and SpongeBob SquarePants have generated significant traffic for Comcast's VOD platform, the company announced early Tuesday. The most popular TV series on Xfinity On Demand in 2011 was Comedy Central's Tosh.0, and the third most popular series was Comedy Central's South Park, Comcast said.
The most popular kids series on Xfinity On Demand was SpongeBob SquarePants, which is produced by Nickelodeon, another Viacom-owned network. Comcast generated 400 million monthly views through its VOD platform in 2011, which was a 10 percent gain compared to 2010.
- see the Streampix release
- and the Xfinity On Demand release
Comcast-Disney deal expands mobile video distribution
Cable CTOs: Rights issues thwart mobile video distribution
Comcast rolls AnyPlay live TV to iPad and Xoom tablets
Time Warner CEO Bewkes pushes cable ops to let subs watch HGO Go through Roku, connected TVs