Comcast Strengthening its Internet TV Presence | Will it try to thwart the competition?

1 min read

Comcast Logo

We often hear about how the traditional cable and satellite companies are going to suffer as internet TV begins to take over. We hear it but so far there has been little evidence of it.

In fact Comcast has been flexing its muscles to place itself in a position to theoretically thwart the open web TV revolution.

Comcast is packing some broadband video assets:

  • Comcast signed up NBC and News Corp to distribute their content through
  • This content adds to the content that Comcast already owns creating a large selection of videos available online.
  • Comcast recently signed an exclusive deal with Yahoo to use Yahoo video adverts within internet videos.
  • The Comcast website gets 15 million unique visitors and 80 million videos viewed per month.
  • Comcast owns ThePlatform, a company that specializes in software platforms and middleware for broadband video.
  • Comcast has 12.1 million high-speed internet customers as well as 24.2 million cable customers, 13.3 million digital cable customers and 3.0 million voice customers.

Comcast’s private internet can lead to higher quality video

The Comcast website has a significant (although comparatively small) share of the broadband video market with 80 million video views per month. It also has 12.1 million high-speed internet customers who may also be signed up to its cable services.

When Comcast’s high speed internet customers connect to the website to watch video they are effectively running through a private network operated by Comcast and not connecting to the outside world. While it may be a connection over internet protocol all the data travels through wires that Comcast has control of, meaning it has full control over the connection and can therefore ensure higher quality video.

What can Comcast do to impede internet TV?

While Comcast can offer higher quality video through its own network it could covertly deter its customers away from alternatives. Comcast has already kicked internet users who use too much bandwidth and with the growth of internet video services this excessive bandwidth use will increase.

Imagine a household that tried to cut the cable bill by becoming completely reliant on a internet TV service such as Joost. It would really suck up the bandwidth and Comcast could suspend their account for watching too much video, encouraging users towards Comcasts own brand of TV.

While this is only a theory about what Comcast could do – it is worrying nonetheless.