Comcast, looking to bulk up its catch-up lineup against Netflix, reached a deal with Turner Broadcasting System to provide TV customers complete current and prior seasons of the programmer's shows, which also covers advertising in the VOD content.
The deal covers so-called "stacking rights," under which Comcast gets full-season runs of the shows. It's the first such deal Turner has signed with a pay-TV provider. Starting this summer, Turner will provide full current seasons of select original series to Xfinity TV subscribers from networks including TBS, TNT, Adult Swim, CNN, Cartoon Network and truTV.
Shows covered under the pact include: TNT's "Falling Skies" (pictured, above), "The Last Ship" and "Murder in the First"; TBS's "Deal With It" and "CeeLo Green's The Good Life"; Cartoon Network's "Adventure Time" and "Regular Show"; Adult Swim's "Robot Chicken" and "Mike Tyson Mysteries"; CNN's "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown" and "Inside Man"; and truTV's "Impractical Jokers" and "The Carbonaro Effect."
The stacking issue has been a growing problem for Turner and other networks in cutting deals with outside studio suppliers for new shows. That's because producers are concerned that the VOD access to prior seasons will hurt demand for future syndication and SVOD deals.
Comcast has moved aggressively to land stacking rights for current seasons. The MSO has such agreements with nearly 40 networks, including broadcast nets ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, and cablers like AMC, BBC America, Bravo, E!, History, OWN and USA Network.
Under the Turner deal, new episodes of entertainment, news, young adults and kids programming will become available to Comcast Xfinity TV subs the day after they premiere and remain up for the duration of the current season.
In addition, under the deal, Turner networks will now insert dynamic ads in Xfinity On Demand programming on TV, as well as on computers, tablets and smartphones via each company's TV Everywhere experiences. The advertising offerings will be made available as inventory in time for the 2014-15 upfront.
"This new agreement expands our existing relationship with Comcast and furthers our combined commitment to provide the customers we both serve with more popular programming from Turner's portfolio of leading networks," Turner prexy David Levy said in a statement. "VOD is a great way to help grow our audience and introduce new viewers to our programming and it also serves as another opportunity for advertisers with their targeted brand messages."
Matt Strauss, SVP and g.m. of video services for Comcast Cable, added that the operator's VOD service has demonstrated the ability to build new audiences, lift Nielsen live-plus-3 ratings and provide new advertising opportunities. "Xfinity On Demand is a go-to source for customers who want to catch-up and stay current on their favorite TV shows and the addition of Turner's original programming only enhances the platform," Strauss said.
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