J T. Ramsay, Chief Blogger at Comcast, caught up with Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast Cable, to discuss its new platform, “SEEiT.”
With the service, users who see tweets about shows and content will be able to jump directly from Twitter to watch or record the shows on Comcast or any other cable operator who is on board. Comcast, which came up with the idea, says a bevy of etworks will provide access to their videos in the early part of next year–including ABC, FOX, Fox Networks, A&E TV Networks, AMC Networks, Crown’s Hallmark Channels, Discovery Communications, National Geographic Channel and WE TV.
Here’s the blog post:
“JTR: Today, Comcast announced that it plans to add new SEEiT partnerships for its platform, including major distributors Cablevision, Charter Cable and Time Warner Cable. Why was it so important to share this innovation with industry peers?
Sam Schwartz: SEEiT received a great reaction when it began its preview last month so we’re eager to expand it. Even though SEEiT is developed and operated by Comcast, we view SEEiT as a universal platform that offers features to websites and apps for all of their users, not just Comcast subscribers. Partnering with other distributors broadens the reach for SEEiT and enables direct viewing on TV and apps for millions of additional customers. At Comcast, we’ve been investing and innovating in digital experiences for years, and we’re happy to share with others to bring a better overall user experience.
JTR: Comcast has also expanded its roster of television network partners since the deal was first announced in early October. Give us an update on the networks and popular shows taking advantage of the platform.
SS: ABC, FOX, FX, A&E, Discovery, Hallmark Channel and WE tv are among the networks that are expected to join NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, SyFy, Bravo, Oxygen, E!, Esquire Network and The Golf Channel in promoting content via SEEiT. These networks, their shows and their talent all use Twitter and other Internet properties to promote and connect with fans. Now, they’ll make it even easier for viewers to watch the show or movie they’re discussing.
JTR: You’ve had a chance to observe user behavior during the preview period. How have users engaged, and what behavior has stood out most?
SS: We are very pleased with the early results from the preview launch. We’re seeing that users are very excited about all of the features SEEiT enables, and we’re pleased that a majority of SEEiT users are taking some action – from tuning live TV to setting DVR recordings to watching on mobile – directly from Twitter.
JTR: Who has access to SEEiT today?
SS: We’re still in our preview phase, but today any Twitter iOS user can see SEEiT buttons attached to certain tweets. Everyday more tweets with SEEiT buttons are appearing on Twitter and these new partnerships will substantially increase availability and frequency of SEEiT. Soon, we’ll be adding other apps and websites that will also feature the SEEiT button.
JTR: Is SEEiT only available on the Twitter platform? What other places and platforms will a user be able to access SEEiT?
SS: Currently, SEEiT is only available on Twitter to iOS users. Android and web versions of SEEiT on Twitter will be available later this month. But we’re not stopping there. SEEiT should be everywhere people are discovering entertainment they want to watch. We plan to announce additional website, app, and advertisers that will feature the SEEiT button shortly.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Once an MVPD has the rights to network content, the networks are usually very open to embracing ideas on how to distribute that content beyond the TV screen. It’s a win-win for all and the MVPDs should be recognized for some of these good ideas—especially those that extend the content/programming online in new ways such as this.