Comcast's Initial 'Xfinity' Lineup

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Looks like Comcast is close to raising the curtain on “Xfinity,” its TV Everywhere service — with at least eight networks initially in the mix: HBO, Cinemax, Travel Channel, A&E, HGTV, TNT, Food Network and Impact.

Last month, Comcast Interactive Media president Amy Banse said the operator expected to launch On-Demand Online nationwide in time for Hanukkah, which began at sundown Friday.

While there was no announcement from Comcast this week, as Dave Zatz notes, the operator is already offering TV and broadband subscribers access to Fancast Xfinity at www.comcast.net/on-demand-online.

“Fancast XFINITY TV lets you enjoy your Comcast Digital TV subscription online-for no additional charge,” the site explains. “Have HBO? Catch box-office hits and top series like True Blood right from your desk. Mad about Mad Men? Watch it on your laptop at the kitchen table. Dive into the channels you already love, right from your computer — it’s more value in more places from Comcast.”

Just those eight networks are listed on the main landing page (Impact, if that doesn’t ring a bell, is the MGM/Comcast VOD action-sports network). But I have to think more than that will be participating at launch. Comcast had been testing On-Demand Online with at least 24.

And yeah, they really are calling this Xfinity, as B&C’s Alex Weprin first reported. The name seems to be a play on “affinity” as well as an allusion to Comcast’s Project Infinity, which aims to eventually offer 100,000+ video-on-demand titles to cable customers (see Comcast Preps For VOD ‘Infinity’).

Maybe it will grow on me, but my initial reaction is that “Xfinity” is an ungainly, four-syllable mouthful that calls to mind a luxury auto brand.

More important than first impressions of the name itself, though, is for Comcast to give subscribers a great service that’s fun, cool and easy to use. Then they could call it “Xfoliate” and it probably would fly (oops, nope, that’s already taken!).

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