Tubi Inks NBC Universal Catalog Deal

Ad-supported streaming video service Tubi Feb. 28 announced a content deal with NBC Universal, adding nearly 400 television episodes and movies. The deal is part of a strategy to invest over nine figures into content acquisitions in 2019.

Tubi users will have free access to catalog series, “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” “The A-Team,” “Punky Brewster,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Quantum Leap” and the original versions of “Magnum, P.I.,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Bionic Woman” and “She-Ra: Princess of Power,” among others.

“We’re excited to be a home to this robust library of content … that appeals across generations,” chief content officer Adam Lewinson said in a statement. “We are aggressively working to expand our library, and this is one of many deals to come for Tubi.”

Tubi’s content library contains more than 12,000 movies and TV series –  claiming to double Netflix’s at 40,000 hours. The service’s app ranks as one of the most watched on Amazon Fire TV, Roku iOS, Android, and Xfinity X1, among others.

San Francisco-based Tubi ended 2018 with more than four-times the content on the service over the previous year. Viewers last December streamed nearly as much content as was consumed in all of 2017.

 

Amy Poehler to Star in Comcast Xfinity Ad Campaign

Amy Poehler will star in a year-long Xfinity advertising campaign starting Feb. 4, Comcast announced.

The campaign featuring the actor, producer and director (“Parks and Recreation,” “Saturday Night Live,’ Inside Out and upcoming “Wine Country”) is called “Simple, Easy, Awesome – starring Amy Poehler” and uses her “unique sense of humor and wit to put a spotlight on the brand’s product benefits, across Xfinity Internet, Xfinity TV and Xfinity Mobile,” according to the Comcast release.

The two launch spots — “Potpourri” and “Make Yourself at Home” — will air across television, digital, mobile and radio.

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“Working with Amy has been a dream — her charm, charisma and relatability are a great fit for Xfinity and her improv skills really took our creative to another level,” said Eileen Diskin, SVP of marketing communications at Comcast, in a statement. “We’re proud to have her represent our brand and look forward to building upon our partnership with Amy throughout the year.”

“Simple, Easy, Awesome – starring Amy Poehler” brings to life the idea that you don’t have to be an expert to get the most out of technology, and the commercials put Poehler in real-life locations ranging from a family’s home to an Xfinity retail store, according to the release.

The campaign will include multiple TV spots to roll out in the coming months.

In addition to the creative content, the Comcast partnership with Poehler includes product integration into the company’s Xfinity X1 platform. Customers can say things such as “Amy is Awesome” and “Everything Amy Poehler” into the X1 voice remote and they will be taken to a special page with a curated collection of Poehler’s movies, shows, talk show appearances and more, and also will be able to unlock special voice messages from Poehler.

Xfinity has more than 30 million customer relationships across the country, according to the release, and the X1 platform includes Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video with the voice remote processing more than 700 million commands each month.

Comcast Adds Amazon Prime Video to X1 Platform

Comcast Dec. 5 announced that Amazon Prime Video will launch over the next week on its broadband-based Xfinity X1 platform. Prime Video joins Netflix and YouTube as major third-party over-the-top video services afforded direct access to Comcast subscribers.

The move underscores Comcast’s ongoing tug-of-war between branching out into branded OTT video and staying true to its pay-TV legacy.

“Prime Video is a fantastic extension of the programming choices available to our customers,” Matt Strauss, EVP, Xfinity Services, Comcast Cable, said in a statement.“By integrating hundreds of thousands of live and on demand choices from the best networks, studios and streaming services, our customers can instantly search, control and watch all of their entertainment in one place with their voice.”

X1 subs will be able to search Prime Video original programming, including Homecoming with Julia Roberts, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselThe RomanoffsGoliath, Bosch, The Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour  and a growing library of Prime Video programming in 4K Ultra HD and HDR.

Comcast users can launch the Prime Video app by saying “Amazon Prime Video” into the voice remote or by navigating to the X1 apps menu.They can also search an entire genre of programming, such as saying, “Watch The Americans, ”Show me Sneaky Pete,” or “Find comedies” into the voice remote.

“The launch arrives just in time for Season 2 of Emmy-winning “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 3 of “The Grand Tour” and holiday classics like It’s A Wonderful Life, which is now available exclusively on Prime Video,” said Greg Hart, VP of Amazon Prime Video.

In addition to the thousands of titles included with a Prime Video subscription, subscribers can access titles for rental or purchase, or choose from more than 150 Prime Video Channels to add to their video service, including Showtime and Starz.

 

MHz Choice SVOD Launches on Comcast Xfinity X1

MHz Networks’ subscription video on demand service MHz Choice is now available over the Internet on Comcast’s Xfinity X1, marking the first time MHz Choice’s entire catalog of premium on-demand international TV content is available through a pay-TV provider in the United States, MHz announced.

Xfinity X1 customers can subscribe to and access the service and its full library by saying “MHz Choice” into their X1 voice remote or by finding it within the networks section of Xfinity on Demand. The service can be added to X1 customers’ service for $7.99 per month.

“It’s great to be a part of the Comcast Xfinity X1 lineup and to significantly expand upon the existing relationship between our companies,” said MHz Networks president and CEO Frederick Thomas in a statement. “We could not be more pleased to introduce MHz Choice’s unmatched catalog of engaging and entertaining television to even more viewers.”

MHz Choice programming is presented in its language of origin with English subtitles and includes series “Detective Montalbano” (Italy), “Wallander” (Sweden) and “A French Village” (France). New series and new seasons of returning series including “Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games” (France), “Beck” (Sweden), “Acquitted” (Norway), “Those Who Kill” (Denmark) and “Lola Upside Down” (Finland) will launch on MHz Choice in the coming months.

Comcast and ESPN Announce Launch of Sports Networks on Xfinity X1

Comcast and ESPN Sept. 5 announced the launch of ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + on Xfinity X1, giving sports fans the ability to stream over the Internet, directly on their television, coverage of college football with more than 150 live games, and more than 5,000 live events annually, including international soccer, Grand Slam tennis matches, college basketball and other collegiate athletics.

All content from across the three networks will be searchable with Comcast’s X1 voice remote and integrated into the same screens and menus as the other sports programming that comes with a customer’s Xfinity TV subscription, according to the announcement.

“Simplicity continues to be essential in today’s dynamic media landscape,” said Sean Breen, SVP, affiliate sales, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, in a statement. “We’re fortunate to have relationships with Comcast to seamlessly serve customers and sports fans on a platform that delivers the best of both traditional and digital video viewing experiences, and the addition of ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + are perfect examples of that.”

“From football and soccer to volleyball and field hockey, this launch gives college sports fans incredible access to live events from schools including Florida State, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh in the ACC, Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M in the SEC, and dozens more from across the entire country on ESPN3,” said Vito Forlenza, executive director, TV Everywhere content and product strategy, Comcast Cable, in a statement. “ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + add a new dynamic to the already deep catalog of sports programming that’s currently available on X1. Combined with universal voice control and the X1 sports app, we are providing customers with the richest, most immersive sports viewing experience in the country.”

With the three new networks customers can:

  • find live coverage from ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + intermixed alongside other live sporting events showcased within X1’s sports destination;
  • get access to the Xfinity Sky Cam’s live game feeds providing exclusive angles and commentary;
  • by saying “ESPN3,” “ACC Network Extra” or “SEC Network +” into the X1 voice remote discover everything available to watch live from the networks;
  • by asking for a specific team such as “Clemson Football” quickly access a team summary, including its current record and conference standing, and see a list of upcoming games airing across any network;
  • while watching the networks’ live online coverage on X1, follow along with real-time updates and data via the platform’s sports companion app for more than a dozen conferences such as the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference, American Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA; and
  • by saying, for example, “University of Connecticut Huskies Basketball Score,” get real-time scoring updates of the current game and the ability to tune-in live if it’s available to stream;

ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + are available on all eligible X1 set top boxes with Xfinity TV and Internet service.

Comcast Adding Amazon Prime Video

Comcast Cable and Amazon Aug. 2 announced an agreement to launch Prime Video on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 cloud-based set-top. It marks the first time Prime Video content would be integrated on a pay-TV operator’s platform in the U.S.  The Prime Video app is expected to launch on X1 later this year.

Comcast incorporated Netflix, Pandora and YouTube into the X1 ecosystem last year.

Xfinity TV subscribers – which represent more than 60% of Comcast’s residential foot print – will have access to Prime Originals like “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and “Goliath,” as well as live events and TV, titles available to rent or buy, or to watch with a Prime Video Channels subscription.

Customers can search Prime Video content using Comcast’s X1 voice remote, as well as enjoy shows and movies available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR.

“Amazon Prime Video’s growing list of originals, movies, shows, documentaries, and kids’ programming will be an excellent complement to the overall X1 viewing experience,” Dana Strong, president of consumer services at Comcast, said in a statement.

“The addition of the Prime Video app to X1 will make navigating between Prime Video and live TV easier than ever,” said Greg Hart, VP of Amazon Prime Video.

 

Comcast Expands Xfinity TV International Content

Comcast has expanded the number of international channels available to Xfinity TV customers by including 42 networks, now available nationally on Xfinity X1 and through the Xfinity Stream TV app and portal on mobile devices, computers, and Roku devices in the home.

From Bollywood movies and Chinese news, to Russian cinema and Brazilian telenovelas, X1 customers can now find foreign-language content from as STAR India PLUS, Zee TV, TV Asia, Globo, Record TV, TV5Monde, TV JAPAN and Willow sports content.

Coupled with the recent addition of Sling International on X1, the international experience on X1 now includes more than 415 networks in more than 20 languages, according to the company.

“The content is organized and curated in a way that makes search and discovery by geography or language simple and easy,” according to a Comcast press release.

X1 customers can just say “International” to go directly to the International destination on Xfinity on Demand, the press release stated. Additionally, customers can use their voice to discover programming relevant to a specific region of the world, for instance saying “Asian entertainment,” “South Asian entertainment,” “European entertainment” or “Brazilian entertainment.” X1 customers generated more than 1.5 billion voice commands in the first quarter of 2018 alone, according to Comcast.

“Xfinity X1 is now the go-to platform for the best international programming and viewing experience,” said Rebecca Simpson, executive director, international strategy for Comcast Cable. “With the demand for multicultural content increasing, we are thrilled to complement our existing array of international programming by adding more channels all thoughtfully curated into an easy way to navigate, discover and enjoy.”

Comcast Announces Xfinity Retail Store

Comcast May 21 announced the launch of the new interactive Xfinity retail store.

The store is “created to provide customers an immersive destination to discover and address service needs for Xfinity products and services,” according to a company release.

The first locations of the new store format recently opened in Pueblo, Colo.; Aventura, Fla.; Henrico, Va.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Tucson, Ariz.

“We want to bring our customers an incredible shopping experience, which showcases the power and innovation of our Xfinity products and demonstrates how they work together,” said Tom DeVito, SVP, retail sales and service, Comcast Cable. “We have heard from our customers that they want to touch and feel our Xfinity products and understand their capabilities as they make decisions for their own home. Our Xfinity stores are the place to do that.”

Comcast has built or re-designed more than 250 new stores since 2015, according to the company. The company will open more than 50 of the new and enhanced Xfinity stores in high-traffic shopping centers across the service footprint in 2018.

“Comcast’s ultimate goal is for customers to be within a 15 minute drive of a Xfinity store,” according to the release.

Xfinity stores are designed strategically by product area —Xfinity Mobile, Xfinity X1, Xfinity Home and Xfinity Internet.

  • At Xfinity Mobile, customers can purchase new mobile phones or bring in their own Apple devices and choose a data plan.
  • At Discover xFi, the Xfinity home WiFi experience, customers can learn how to view and control network devices through the app, site or voice remote in the Xfinity Internet zone.
  • At X1, the next-generation video platform, the store features a living room environment, so customers can try the voice remote and see how X1 works firsthand.
  • The Connected Home Zone section showcases how Xfinity Home shows customers how they can control IoT devices from their phone, tablet or Xfinity Home touchscreen.

Customers can visit the store to upgrade or swap equipment, ask questions about their Xfinity service, troubleshoot equipment or pay a bill at an in-store kiosk. In-store appointments can be scheduled online on their local store website.

New Xfinity stores also have a dedicated space for Comcast Business customers and prospects to come in and discuss their business technology needs with an expert.