Don't Tell Bloomberg About Comcast Promotion
Comcast might want to watch out for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. When word of Kabletown's latest promotion reaches him, he’s likely to propose limits on the size of video-on-demand (VOD) libraries. The cable lobby better be on guard.
Bloomberg has fought for improved public health by banning smoking in public places, forcing eateries to drop trans fats and aiming to curtail the size of sugary drinks (now on hold). So, although he owns a TV network, how can he stand for Comcast’s Watchathon Week coming March 25-31?
Big Gulps? This is a weight gain risk. The cable operator is encouraging customers to watch season after season of a show’s back episodes -- to drink dry “a massive collection of content from the best networks never before available for free in one place.”
A company executive says: “This will be the biggest catch-up ever in TV history, offering Xfinity TV customers the opportunity to binge view …”
Binge! That's a word that gets Bloomberg's attention.
Comcast will offer 3,500 episodes across 100 series from 30 networks.
How could anyone ever leave the couch? Does 7-Eleven deliver?
A buffet sampler:
“Big Love,” “Downton Abbey,” “Duck Dynasty,” “Girls,” “Parenthood,” “The Sopranos,” “Archer,” “Bridezillas,” “Deadliest Catch,” “Elementary,” “King of the Nerds,” “Portlandia,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “Revolution,” “Swamp People,” “The Americans,” “The Bachelor,” “The Walking Dead,” “Top Gear,” “Vikings” and “Whitney.”
Every episode of them. VOD comes with a minimal commercial load -- if one at all -- so that should help the binging. The Watchathon only lasts 168 hours.
(Speaking of buffets, why hasn’t Bloomberg banned those in his anti-obesity crusade? Of course, there aren’t many in New York because they’d probably be eaten out of business in a New York minute.)
Actually, Comcast doesn’t have a footprint in New York, so if Bloomberg goes on an anti-VOD crusade, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable could feel his wrath. Ah, but mayors around the country have followed his smoking ban, so a VOD war could still be trouble.
Comcast may, however, be able to sell Bloomberg on the portability of the Watchathon. It needn't be a sedentary activity since the content is available on mobile devices.
Then again, Bloomberg is likely to worry too many taxi drivers will be watching while driving.