Amy Banse, the woman who helped Comcast Corp. launch G4, PBS Kids Sprout and other TV networks, is now looking to develop new programming for online distribution.
The nation’s largest cable operator named Banse president of a new Comcast Interactive Media unit last week. Banse is charged with developing content for Comcast.net, including original programming and videos that may come from existing media brands.
Banse said a key part of her job will be to create content that can run on the Internet and mobile media players, not just cable, emphasizing her belief that the PC will be a key tool to deliver content to consumers, including possible long-form shows and dedicated channels.
“We think eventually the PC can become a dashboard for the entertainment experience for our customers.” Banse said.
Sam Schwartz, managing director the Comcast Interactive Capital unit, was named executive vice president of strategy and development at Comcast Interactive Media. Schwartz will continue to run CIC, which has invested in 60 technology firms in the last few years.
Banse wouldn’t rule out the idea of attempting to distribute video programming online to customers outside of Comcast’s 35-state footprint. But she said her primary focus is on delivering new content to the company’s 22 million cable subscribers.
“The low hanging fruit is clearly within our footprint,” Banse added.
Currently ranked as the 40th most popular Web site in the U.S. by Alexa.com, Comcast.net features about 23,000 hours of video clips, mostly news and entertainment segments supplied by CBS News, ABC News and the Associated Press.
Charlie Herren, the head of Comcast.net, will report to Banse and Greg Butz, the company’s senior vice president of marketing and business development.
Banse said some future Comcast product offerings, such as portable media players, will involve multiple divisions working together. Banse said Comcast may look to offer video content online from existing cable brands, in addition to developing new content brands.
Offering longer video content online, or even traditional 24-hour networks, may be a possibility, Banse said.
“The clearest opportunities are within our footprint,” Banse said.