Comcast’s Fancast serves up downloaded content

Thu, 09/04/2008 - 8:40am
Mike Robuck

Comcast’s Fancast Web portal has moved into the realm of downloaded video content, in addition to the streaming video it has been getting from Hulu.

Yesterday, Dave Zatz, who writes for, reported on Fancast’s decision to start offering downloadable video content that customers can own or rent. A spokeswoman for Fancast said the Fancast Store downloadable content was launched in beta form last week.

The move to add downloadable content puts Fancast in direct competition with other downloadable services offered by the likes of Apple’s iTunes and Amazon. 

Comcast has agreements in place with various studios, including Sony, Buena Vista/Disney and Paramount. The cost of downloads at the Fancast Store starts at $1.99 for TV shows, $3.99 for movie rentals and $9.99 to buy digital movies. 

Currently, Fancast Media Manager allows TV shows or movies to be viewed only through Microsoft Windows. Fancast’s spokeswoman would not confirm whether other operating systems were in beta testing but said the company is working on making the viewing experience the best one possible for users.

On Friday, Comcast announced that it will cap the bandwidth usage of its customers to 250 Gigabytes per month starting Oct. 1 (story here). A spokesman for Comcast said the downloadable content from Fancast will count toward that cap, but Comcast has said that most subscribers typically use 2 to 3 Gigabytes per month.

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