New Partners for Comcast Online Trial

NEW YORK/PHILADELPHIA: Comcast Corporation has added a slate of partners to its On Demand Online trial, announcing 17 new cable channel deals today, including A&E, BBC America and E!, as well as an agreement with CBS, following news of its HBO and Cinemax pact yesterday.

The cable giant today unveiled agreements with Rainbow Media, Scripps, AETN, MGM Impact and BBC, adding 17 cable networks to the trial. Content from A&E, AMC, BBC America, DIY Network, Fine Living Network, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, History, IFC, MGM Impact, Sundance Channel, WE tv, E! Entertainment, The Style Network, G4 and FEARnet will be delivered on and

“We are thrilled to partner with all of these popular cable networks to significantly expand the premium content available for the On Demand Online trial,” said Matt Bond, the executive VP of content acquisition for Comcast. “Today’s announcement highlights the industry’s growing interest to bring long-form content to consumers via a secure and easy to use online platform. Our goal for On Demand Online is to create a consumer-friendly service that significantly expands customer options to access their favorite TV content on any platform at any time, and we are pleased that so many content providers are partnering with us to make this goal a reality.”

These channels join HBO and Cinemax on the service. Subscribers to the premium channels will have online access to a total of 750 hours a month of programming, including full-length episodes of True BloodHungEntourageThe Wire and The Sopranos, plus features like TransformersThe Dark KnightTropic Thunder and The X-Files: I Want to Believe

This morning, CBS announced it would be the first broadcaster participating in the Comcast trial. Quincy Smith, the CEO of CBS Interactive, said in announcing the deal: "CBS is very supportive of initiatives that help extend our content to new platforms in such a way that we gain new audiences and additional value for our advertisers. Comcast is already a trusted platform to distribute CBS content on air as well as on demand; expanding this relationship online is a logical step. In addition, CBS’s strategy has always been about open, non-exclusive distribution of our content in a consumer friendly way, which is a core tenant of TV Everywhere and On Demand Online."

Comcast previously announced deals with TNT, TBS and Starz Entertainment. It will begin its technical trial of On Demand Online with approximately 5,000 customers in the coming weeks.