Is it the holy grail of online video? According to PC World, Comcast intends to make their subscription video channel lineup available to existing customers online through their Fancast website. Karin Gilford, the Comcast Interactive executive in charge of Fancast tells PC World that the rumored ‘On Demand Online’ initiative is about to become reality. The new service will be password protected and only available to paying Comcast cable customers (although there are few details on how this will be enforced). thePlatform, another Comcast subsidiary, will certainly play a role in this process. No firm details on a launch date – just ‘later this year.’ The value added service will be free to Comcast customers, at least initially.
When and if Comcast brings on demand online live, it may give front running online video sites like Hulu a run for their money, at least with Comcast subscribers (approx. 24 million subs). The depth and breadth of a Comcast line-up online, with its sports and premium packages included, would put any existing video site to shame. Of course, this is easier said than done. The devil will be in the details. How much actual content will be available and how will it be presented will play a significant role in any Comcast online video success.