Liberty Media subsidiary Starz Entertainment is on board for Comcast’s On Demand Online trail that is slated to launch this month.
Starz will add 300 movies and some of its own original programming to the trial that Comcast and Time Warner announced last month.
The partnership between Comcast and Time Warner will make it possible for Comcast subscribers to access programming from Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting networks online for free. Additional programmers have also signed up for the technical trial.
Starz said its content will initially be available in standard-definition, with high-definition versions and additional content becoming available over the ensuing months. The films that will be available include “Hancock,” “Vantage Point,” “No Country for Old Men” and “Wall-E.” Starz will also offer some of its original series programming in the test, including “Crash” and “Head Case.”
Starz said customers in the trial will be able, in many cases, to see the movies and originals online as soon as they premiere on the standard Comcast video-on-demand service and before they air on the linear channels. The content will be initially available on Comcast.net and Fancast.com.
“At Starz, our goal is to allow subscribers to watch our programming whenever and wherever they want,” said Starz Entertainment President and COO Bill Myers. “We are delighted to join with Comcast in this trial of Comcast On Demand Online. Comcast, with its existing base of millions of Starz subscribers, robust plant and strong commitment to on demand, will be a terrific partner to help explore the new world of Internet video distribution.”
The trial, with approximately 5,000 customers across the nation, is scheduled to start over the next few weeks, and a key component will be the authentication process that allows Comcast subscribers the same content online for free that they subscribe to on TV.
The service will use a simple log-on system for streaming content and, in the future, will allow for download content to go. Comcast said the On Demand Online service will rollout in phases, adding new features, functionality and content over time, but it didn’t say what the new features or functionality were.
The service is Comcast’s answer to over-the-top providers such as Hulu, which use cable operators’ broadband pipes to deliver movies and shows.