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Viewers binge on Comcast’s latest Watchathon Week

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:14pm
Mike Robuck

Comcast said this year’s edition of its Xfinity Watchathon Week set records for VOD consumption with 61 million views and 50 million hours of spend binging.

This year’s binge viewing fest ran from March 31 through April 6 and included a record setting day on April 5 with nearly 11 million hours of viewing for the biggest day ever for Comcast’s VOD service.

Watchathon Week, which allows viewers to catch-up on entire seasons of shows, also proved to be a driving force for increasing ratings for some shows, according to a blog by Andy Hunter, vice president, programming, Comcast Cable. The three most popular shows were “Game of Thrones,” “The Good Wife” and “The Walking Dead.”

The timing of Watchathon Week was especially good for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” because it allowed Comcast customers to catch-up on past episodes ahead of the season premiere. Live ratings for the premiere were 17 percent higher in Comcast households compared to non-Comcast households across the country. Additionally, 675,000 viewers caught the premiere on Xfinity On Demand within the first three days, which increased the national audience an additional 10 percent.

“The verdict is in and for shows like “Game of Thrones,” “The Mindy Project,” “Archer,” “Chicago Fire,” “Cosmos” and “Parks and Recreation,” it’s clear that Comcast customers not only caught up on all their favorite episodes but their binging led to a massive surge in the live ratings of those same shows post-Watchathon,” Hunter wrote.

The second season of Fox’s “The Mindy Project” alsocame back from hiatus during Watchathon Week.Live ratings for this episode were 60 percent higher while the April 8 post-Watchathon episode had a ratings lift in Comcast households of 83 percent. 

Comcast’s Watchathon Week dates back to its “Project Infinity” initiative. Comcast CEO and Chairman Brian Roberts first spoke about the company’s Project Infinity concept during a keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2008. At the time, the name referred to more choices on VOD and linear TV, or an “everything available on TV” concept. Four years ago, Comcast changed the names of its services to the Xfinity brand, which subsequently included renaming the VOD service Xfinity On Demand. 

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