Comcast Adds Viacom to VOD

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Comcast Corp.’s Philadelphia system is now carrying the first batch of basic-cable programming from Viacom Inc.-owned networks to appear on a video-on-demand platform.

The system said it is now offering episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, The Real World: New York, The Real World: Los Angeles, Rugrats, Dora the Explorer, A Walk in Your Shoes, Blue’s Clues, CatDog, Comic View, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Oobi, Midnight Love and Radio Free Roscoe from MTV: Music Television, Black Entertainment Television, Noggin and Nickelodeon.

That Viacom cable programming lineup will be rolled out into other Comcast VOD markets in the coming months.

Comcast also said news programming from CBS — including The Early Show, CBS Evening News and 48 Hours, plus local news broadcasts from CBS affiliates — will be launched in its Pittsburgh and Baltimore systems.

In Philadelphia, Comcast has been carrying similar network and local-news programming from NBC. The MSO said CBS News content and local newscasts will be launched later this year in other markets, beyond Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

The MSO said its on-demand platform now carries more than 1,800 programming options, amounting to more than 2,000 hours of content. The Viacom product gives Comcast a boost in the basic-cable department.

The operator also carries content from BBC America, Boomerang, Comedy Central, Cable News Network, Cartoon Network, Court TV, C-SPAN, the Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network and Wisdom TV.

But many of cable’s top rated networks — including Turner Network Television, TBS Superstation, Lifetime Television and USA Network — have not offered programming for free on-demand platforms.

Comcast’s launch of Viacom product marks the cable company’s first inroads with some of basic cable’s most popular content.

“We’re thrilled to bring our customers more value, choice and control with the addition of Viacom’s programming to our On Demand service,” said Page Thompson, Comcast’s vice president of marketing, new video products.

The MSO continues to look at expanding its VOD lineup with both national and local product.

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