Smit: Comcast 'Watchathon' will offer free previews of premium TV Everywhere content

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) will offer all subscribers free access to premium network TV Everywhere content during a week-long "Watchathon" event it will run at the end of March, Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit said Monday.

"Our premium content partners and other networks will give assets to us for free for a week, and we're going to provide it across all of the platforms," Smit said at the Deutsche Bank 2013 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Fla.

While Comcast offers subscribers more multiplatform content than most multichannel providers through apps such as WatchESPN and HBO Go as well as download-to-go programming from Showtime and Starz, Smit said the nation's largest cable MSO needs to improve its TV Everywhere lineup. When asked by DB analyst Doug Mitchelson to grade the MSO's TV Everywhere service, Smit said, "I think we're doing better than anyone else, but I'd probably give us a B."

Subscribers will be able to access content during the Watchathon through Comcast's Xfinity On Demand library, its Xfinity TV Player apps for mobile devices and While it's common for cable operators and satellite TV providers to offer subscribers free previews of premium networks such as HBO, Showtime, Starz and Epix, Comcast's Watchathon may be the first time a pay-TV provider will offer free access to multiple premium TV Everywhere applications. Comcast spokesman Peter Dobrow said the MSO is still finalizing the details on which networks will be included in Watchathon.

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