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Comcast Gets Set For Another 'Watchathon'

Shows from premium, basic and broadcast networks available for binge viewing 3/20/2014 11:22 AM Eastern

Comcast will make more than 5,000 episodes of 130 series from 48 networks available to subscribers for free during its second annual Xfinity Watchathon Week.

Viewers will be able to do their binge watching on March 31 to catch up on series like Game of Thrones and Orphan Black before their season premieres, or The Walking Dead  and Justified in time for season finales.

“Watchathon Week is TV nirvana for every type of fan,” Matt Strauss, senior VP and general manager,  Video Services for Comcast Cable. “Whether our customers decide to catch-up on current shows their friends have been talking about all year, or see as many different past programs as possible, Watchathon is a free, all-you-can-watch feast for the binger in all of us.”

Watchathon Week includes premium networks including Cinemax, Encore, HBO, Showtime, and Starz, as well as cable and broadcast networks.

“Since last year’s event, we’ve steadily built our Xfinity On Demand platform with more of the season’s top shows and are able to make this year’s event bigger than ever,” added Strauss. “We can’t wait to hear how our customers choose to watch this year and see the fun they have doing it.”

Last year's Watchathon broke several VOD usage records for Comcast. In his keynote Wednesday at the Next TV Summit in New York, Strauss said  the operator is seeing a 25% to 26% increase in VOD consumption among customers on cloud-based X1 platform, which has been deployed across Comcast's service footprint.

Earlier this week, Verizon Communications announced it would feature more than 2,300 movies and more than 90 full TV seasons for its set-top-focused "Free On Demand Marathon," which runs April 1-7.

--Multichannel News technology editor Jeff Baumgartner contributed to this report.