Comcast trials 'mini-binge' TV with The Bridge

Michelle Clancy
| 15 August 2014

Comcast has been trailing a 'mini-binging' concept, hoping to lure more subscribers to its video-on-demand (VOD) portal. The No 1 US cable MSO offered viewers of the hit FX show The Bridge the ability to stream the next episode as soon as the current one finished airing on linear TV.

FX also allowed a stable of six episodes to be available for VOD viewing.

"[Pay-TV providers] are all trying to slow the usage of DVRs," Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research, told US Today. "The more they can push you to on-demand, the more they can make sure you see advertising. The question is whether forcing you to watch 20-plus minutes of advertising (for an hour show) will work in the world where DVR continues to be popular."

The mini-binging idea is part of Comcast's efforts to improve the perks available with its X1 user experience, a next-gen, cloud-based interface that has drawn mixed reviews from consumers.

"Blurring the lines between live, on-demand and the DVR content was a key strategy in the X1 development," Matt Strauss, Comcast's senior vice president of video services, told the paper.