VOD Goes Local At Comcast Philly Hub

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Comcast has plunged into the local VOD content business: On Oct. 1, the MSO's flagship Philadelphia-area system launched "Get Local," a batch of VOD programming from CN8: The Comcast Network filled with local news, sports, weather, business and entertainment information.

"CN8 offers invaluable entertainment and informational programming that is important and relevant to the Philadelphia region," Michael Doyle, president of Comcast Cable Communications' Eastern Division and CN8's founder, said in a statement. "Our customers are better serviced with the information they need and want, at the time they most desire to tune in."

Five-minute video vignettes will be hosted by CN8 personalities Lynn Doyle, Lou Tilley, Arthur Fennell and Connie Colla. CN8 will produce two hard-news and weather segments, which will be sent to the VOD server twice a day, Doyle said in an interview.

Segments on business news, sports, entertainment and health will be posted once a day, at 3 p.m.

In addition to the short-form content, much of CN8's primetime lineup will be encoded on the fly and placed on VOD servers soon after it airs. Those shows include It's Your Call With Lynn Doyle, Lou Tilley's Sports Connection, Money Matters Today
and One on One.

The VOD content will be available throughout the entire Philadelphia market, including parts of Delaware and New Jersey. The system covers 2 million basic subscribers and 550,000 digital households.

In December and January, Doyle said Comcast hopes to launch high school sporting contests on VOD. The operator wants to place 100 games in various sports on the server throughout the school year, covering boys' and girls' schedules. Often those high school games appear in late afternoon, or other time slots where fans may not have access to them.

"It's value-added content," Doyle said.

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