Is Comcast’s ‘See It’ Button a Game Changer for Pay-TV Providers?
Thanks to platform inconsistencies and challenges with deploying new technologies, TV Everywhere struggles to find a wide audience. But new functionality offered by the country’s biggest cable provider is hoping to break down some of the remaining walls.
Comcast selected Twitter to be its first partner to unveil its new ‘See It’ feature, which the cable company sees as something akin to Facebook’s “likes.” Conceptually, the functionality was designed to bring the conversation that occurs in real time with television watching that much closer. See It will give subscribers the ability to watch shows across all digital platforms.
Here’s how it works: Comcast customers who have Twitter accounts will be able to click buttons embedded in tweets that grant access to live television or video on demand. The feature, which intends to give viewers more options as to where and how they consume television was launched last month on NBCUniversal, which, not coincidentally, is owned by Comcast. The cable provider intends to partner with more social media outlets and possibly even some competitors in the future.
Boasting over 20 million customers nationwide, as well as the ownership of the programs carried by NBCUniversal, Comcast is in a unique position to see an idea of this sort truly grow. Because of the nature of social media, and the virtual water cooler attributes of Twitter, the cable provider hopes the feature will draw more and more eyeballs to television programming.
Comcast isn’t keeping the technology to itself, either. As TV Everywhere continues to become more and more of a widespread reality, the cable provider has said it will license See It functionality to other companies with hopes that the market for television programs will grow.
TV Everywhere was perhaps most prominently highlighted for the first time during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Since then, we’ve yet to see the full potential such technology promises. Because NBCUniversal owns broadcasting rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics, it’ll be interesting to see how See It comes into play and whether it indeed is the game changing functionality some pundits suggest it might be.