Comcast’s Xfinity ‘Watchathon Week’ to Feature Hulu Originals

Comcast Cable’s annual Xfinity “Watchathon Week” pay-TV smorgasbord is slated for May 11-17 featuring more than 10,000 free TV shows and movies from more than 70 networks and streaming services, including, for the first time ever, Hulu originals such as “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Ramy,” “Shrill” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Other original programming includes Epix’s “Godfather of Harlem” and “Belgravia”; Starz’s “Outlander,” “Power,” and new series “Hightown,” and Showtime drama “Billions”. Programming will be available across Xfinity platforms including X1, Flex and Xfinity Stream.

New this year, X1 customers can tune into an Xfinity Watchathon Week Channel featuring free programming across providers curated by Xfinity’s team of editors. The channel can be accessed within the guide on channel one.

Launched in 2013 as an antidote to streaming services such Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, “Watchathon” affords Xfinity subscribers free access for one week to practically every major TV show and recent movie.

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“With so many customers still at home, we’ve not only seen a 50% increase in Xfinity On Demand viewing across genres of programming from drama and comedy to reality, but we’re noticing other interesting trends like a more than double-digit growth for discovery-related voice commands such as ‘what to watch’ and ‘surprise me,'” Rebecca Heap, SVP of video and entertainment, said in a statement.

Comcast, HBO Partner for ‘Game of Thrones’ Interactive Features

In the ongoing buildup to the April 14 premiere of the eighth and final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Comcast Cable has partnered with the WarnerMedia subsidiary affording X1 subscribers interactive companion features for the last season.

X1 subs can select which “Game of Thrones” character they believe will claim the Iron Throne by saying “For the Throne” into the X1 voice remote.

This polling feature can be accessed at any time and enables subs to make their selection, see how it stacks up against other viewers in real time, and opt to send a special “Thrones” badge featuring the selected character to their mobile phone to share their allegiance across social networks.

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As events of the show unfold each week, subs can update their king or queen selection as often as they like by saying “For the Throne” into their voice remote.

Subs can hear quotes from the show’s main characters, including “Khaleesi,” “Jon Snow,” “Tyrion Lannister,” “Jaime Lannister,” “ Cersei Lannister,” “Arya Stark” and “Sansa Stark” spoken back to them. These new audio “dragon eggs” will remain on the platform throughout the season.

Finally, subs can explore a “Game of Thrones” destination on Xfinity On Demand by saying “Winter is Coming” into the voice remote.

The platform features exclusive content including: individual character recaps from cast members; 60-second series summaries from celebrities like Bill Hader and Henry Winkler; a video montage dedicated to all the characters who died; behind-the-scenes footage, including special effects, locations, and costumes; a Throne Room Yule Log; up-to-date“Thrones” news via YouTube; and “Thrones-inspired playlists from Pandora.

“Game of Thrones” continues to be the #1 series on Xfinity On Demand,”  Brynn Lev, VP, editorial & programming, content strategy & operations for Comcast Cable, wrote in a blog post.

Comcast is also streaming all past seasons of the show through its annual Watchathon binge-viewing event ending April 14.

 

 

Comcast Launching 7th Annual ‘Watchathon’ TV, Movie VOD Extravaganza on April 8

Comcast Cable April 2 announced the seventh annual Xfinity Watchathon Week will take place April 8-14, offering Xfinity subscribers access to thousands of free movies and shows, including more than 200 complete series.

Launched in response to rising over-the-top (and on-demand TV) competitors such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu (which Comcast co-owns), Xfinity subs customers can watch every episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” leading up to the season eight premiere on April 14th.

Other series include A&E’s “60 Days In,” Acorn TV’s “Manhunt,” Epix’s “Punk,” HBO’s “Veep,” MTV’s “The Hills,” NBC’s “This Is Us, and Showtime’s “Billions.”

In total, more than 340 million hours of on-demand programming from the last six years, and includes more than 70 networks and subscription video on demand (SVOD) services such as A&E, ABC, Acorn TV, Adult Swim, AMC Premiere, BET, Cartoon Network, CNN, Comedy Central, Epix, Fox, Hallmark Movies Now, HBO, HGTV, History Vault,  Lifetime Movie Club, Paramount Network, Showtime, TBS, TLC, TNT, Tru, True Royalty TV, Urban Movie Channel and VH1. 

 Additionally, a selection of programming from networks and SVODs (i.e. Netflix) will be available for Internet-only customers to sample on the Xfinity Stream app and Xfinity Flex.

“Last year, our highest day of on-demand viewing happened during Xfinity Watchathon Week,” Daniel Spinosa, VP, video entertainment services, said in a statement. “As we continue to bring more of the entertainment our customers love, Watchathon Week is more exciting every year for both our customers and partners and its continued success is a testament to X1’s ability to make search and discovery of content fast and easy.”

To make navigating the massive amount of available programming, Comcast has initiated several technical features, including “auto play” functionality to automatically start the next episode of a series once the former one ends.

Activating the voice command, “Xfinity Home Watchathon,” to prep the room for a viewing session by dimming all connected lights and locking connected doors if subs have a Xfinity Home subscription and compatible devices

Saying “Watchathon” to explore a personalized curated destination highlighting content recommended just for them throughout the week

Picking up where they left off on a show or movie more quickly by saying “Continue watching Billions.”

Re-watching the memorable moments from a series by saying for example, “Show me the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm about Namaste.”

Additional features during Watchathon include:

Get in on buzzworthy shows such as Bravo’s Southern Charm, Epix’s Deep State, HBO’s Big Little Lies and Deadwood, TBS’s Search Party and from Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” and “The Affair,” by watching the full series before they return to TV.

Catch up on popular movies across genres such as Deadpool 2, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, and Mamma Mia Here We Go Again on HBO; A Quiet Place and Spy Who Dumped Me on EPIX; and I Feel Pretty and The Dark Tower on Showtime.

Explore almost two dozen SVODs – no sign in required- including world class mysteries, dramas, and comedies from Britain and beyond from Acorn TV; award-winning documentaries from CuriosityStream on science, history, wildlife, adventure, travel and more; Lifetime movie favorites of all genres from Lifetime Movie Club; PlayKids’s cartoons, games, books, and activities for kids aged two to eight; Stingray Qello’s full-length concerts and music documentaries; and True Royalty’s original shows and documentaries about the British Royal Family and monarchies around the world.