Comcast adding 35 live TV networks for mobile


XfinityComcast will soon be upgrading its mobile viewing app, “Xfinity TV Go,” to allow subscribers to watch live networks including CNN, Fox News, Disney Channel, CNBC, ESPN and FX on the go, says an AP story.

Subscribers will be able to watch 35 live TV channels on their Apple and Android devices outside their homes, as long as they have a Wi-Fi connection. In the past, Comcast only allowed subscribers to watch live feeds on its website from a computer, or on mobile devices for special events like last year’s Olympics.

Access to live network TV has been limited on mobile devices, partly because content owners have been reluctant to grant rights on platforms where the viewing isn’t incorporated into an overall rating score. But now that has changed, with Nielsen’s recent announcement that beginning with the 2014-15 TV season, it will incorporate audiences viewing TV content on digital devices into traditional TV measurement.

However, with mobile ratings less than a year away, the timing was right to launch now, Matthew Strauss, Comcast’s senior vice president of digital and emerging platforms told the AP: “There’s a high penetration of these devices, customers are more comfortable watching on mobile and we’re comfortable Nielsen now has the mechanism in the next few months to be able to measure this.”

See the AP story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: Great News all around. While the live video quality over a broadband connection (vs. WiFi) for live streaming isn’t as good, that’s the next hurdle. 4G networks help the push in the right direction, but the viewing quality should be solid and measurable wherever the smartphone or tablet viewer has a cellular broadband connection as well as WiFi.