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Comcastic? No, It's All Gonna Be 'Xfinity'
If you hated the Xfinity name that Comcast picked for its TV Everywhere service, get ready to cringe even more (see Comcast Counts To ‘Xfinity’).
Comcast is rebranding all of its cable services as Xfinity, executives said on today’s Q4 2009 earnings call (see Comcast To Launch Xfinity Rebranding Campaign).
The journey to Xfinity will begin next week in 11 markets – Boston; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Hartford, Conn.; Augusta, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and parts of the San Francisco Bay area — and will be expanded in the next few months to almost half of its footprint. By the end of 2010, Xfinity will be the Comcast brand name in the majority of its markets.
Here’s Steve Burke, Comcast’s chief operating officer, to explain the change: “This is a major rebranding effort for Comcast Cable. Xfinity gives the customer more choices, more convenience, more control over their entertainment, information, and communication choices, in more innovative ways and we’re really excited to introduce the Xfinity brand to our customers.”
Xfinity is clearly intended to connote “affinity” as well as “infinity,” and is a riff on Comcast’s Project Infinity, the video-on-demand initiative to deliver 100,000 or more titles to customers (see Comcast Preps For VOD ‘Infinity’). The MSO originally filed for trademark protection on Xfinity in December 2008, after surely consulting with a pricey naming firm.
As I’ve said previously, the four-syllable name doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue. I suppose it’s memorable, which is key. The “X” is supposed to be cool and au courant (X-Men, Simon Cowell’s forthcoming talent show The X Factor).
But the name immediately made pundits think of the goofy catchphrase from Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear (“To Xfinity and beyond!”), or the luxury auto brand Infiniti. There’s also an unfortunately negative “ex” implication. As in, “ex-Comcast subscriber”: The MSO lost 623,000 video subs in 2009.
Or is this move Xciting! Xcellent! Xtra awesome! Xceptional? Add your Xtemporaneous thoughts below.