Time Warner Cable plugs Netflix in Super Bowl commercial
Even though the breadth of TV series and movies available on Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) make it a popular subscription service for cable cord cutters, that didn't stop Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) from plugging its online video rival during the 30-second spot that it ran during the Super Bowl Sunday night.
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The commercial focused on how subscribers who buy its subscription TV and high-speed Internet service can access content on multiple platforms and devices.
"We let ESPN go anywhere, make Showtime show up in places you've never imagined," the narrator says, referring to the WatchESPN and Showtime Anytime apps for Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone and iPad and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android devices, without naming the apps. "And make Netflix more powerful," he adds.
Including content suppliers ESPN and Showtime in an ad that touts its multiplatform strengths isn't extaordinary, considering Time Warner Cable profits by selling those networks to subscribers. But plugging its high-speed service as a "more powerful" way to watch content from Netflix is noteworthy, considering the more time a high-speed subscriber spends on Netflix, the more likely he may be to shave the number of premium networks he buys from Time Warner Cable. The MSO also touts its network as a better way to surf Facebook and access multi-player games such as Call of Duty in the Super Bowl spot.
The Super Bowl ad drew praise Monday morning from BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield, who has criticized Time Warner Cable's consumer marketing campaigns in the past. "The launch of a highly-stylized ad campaign with great messaging by TWC's new (chief marketing officer) Jeffrey Hirsch is encouraging," Greenfield said in a blog post Monday.
Time Warner Cable is using its Facebook page to extend the life of its Super Bowl spot, kicking off a sweepstakes in which it encourages users to vote for the ad in a YouTube contest that spotlights the best Super Bowl commercials. Viewers who vote for its ad get a chance to win a grand prize consisting of a 60-inch 3D LED HDTV, a 3D Blu-ray player and one year of free cable service. It's also offering $2,500 checks to three second-place winners, and five $500 gift cards to third place winners.
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