Comcast is getting ready to give video subs another chance to catch up and binge out on dozens of TV series with a reprise of last year’s “Xfinity Watchathon Week,” a promotion that broke several of the MSO’s VOD usage records.
Like 2013’s edition, this year’s will offer free access to full seasons of TV shows on Xfinity On Demand (Comcast’s set-top box VOD platform), its TV Go App for tablets and smartphones, and on Web browsers at www.xfinity.com/TV, including Games of Thrones and Girls (HBO), Downton Abbey (PBS), The Walking Dead (AMC), Black Sails (Starz), Californification (Showtime), The Mindy Project (Fox), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), and The Good Wife (CBS), among others. In all, the 2014 promo will feature more than 75 series, the MSO noted in this Xfinity Watchathon Week teaser page.
Last year’s event, which ran from March 25-31, offered more than 3,500 episodes from 30 TV networks. It drove a double-digit increase in viewership on the set-top box VOD platform, whole the number of hours logged during the week rose 46% year-to-year, beating the MSO’s previous record by 42%. Comcast said it also set new usage records for its TV Everywhere app on the Web and on tablets and smartphones, but didn’t specify the numbers.
Comcast followed that up with the “Xfinity Fall Fest,” offering an early look at several new shows before they aired, plus the option to catch up on other TV series.
Comcast and other pay-TV providers continue to develop these promotions around the sort of TV binge viewing model made popular by Netflix. Verizon Communications, for example, has been running similar VOD “Marathons,” with the most recent one teed up last September.
Last fall, Cox Communications put together a week-long Fall FreeView On Demand event that offered more than 500 episodes from over 50 shows and two dozen premium, broadcast and cable networks.