Comcast: ‘Watchathon Week’ Broke VOD Records

Says VOD-Fest Also Boosted TV Ratings
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Comcast said this year’s week-long Xfinity Watchathon broke more VOD records, producing 61 million views and 50 million hours of TV bingeing, while also doing its part to boost ratings for shows such as Game of Thrones.

This year’s VOD-fest, which ran March 31 through April 6, served up more than 5,000 episodes from 48 TV networks and more than 130 series via set-top boxes and on mobile devices running Comcast’s authenticated TV Everywhere app.

Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and The Good Wife were the three most popular shows during the Watchathon.

April 5 logged 11 million hours, the biggest ever for Comcast’s set-top box-based Xfinity On Demand platform, according to this blog post from Andy Hunter, Comcast Cable’s VP of programming.

Comcast said viewers  used Watchathon to catch up on HBO’s Game of Thrones ahead of the season premiere, helping to drive live rating that were 17% higher in Comcast homes versus non-Comcast homes in the U.S. Another  675,000 viewers watched the season four premiere on VOD within the first three days, which boosted the national audience by an additional 10%, Hunter noted.

Among other VOD-live TV linkages, Comcast said the latest episode of FX’s Archer aired on March 31 and saw a 78 percent live ratings lift, while the April 8 episode of NBC’s Chicago Fire benefited from 30 percent higher live ratings. On Telemundo, two novelas, La Impostra and En Otra Piel – saw some uplift following the Watchathon, netting ratings increases of 38% and 32% percent, respectively, in Comcast households, the operator said.

“[I]t’s clear that Comcast customers not only caught up on all their favorite episodes but their binging led to a massive surge in the live ratings of those same shows post-Watchathon,” Hunter wrote.

Comcast’s inaugural Watchathon last March beat previous VOD records, generating a double-digit percentage increases in on-demand usage versus the previous record set in 2011.