Comcast: 1 billion served
Comcast Corp.  hit a big milestone this week, announcing its customers have viewed more than 1 billion programs on-demand so far this year.
The milestone surpasses Comcast's initial expectations that it would serve up 1 billion VOD views for all of 2005. Last year, customers viewed about 567 million on-demand programs. Comcast launched VOD in late 2002 in Philadelphia.
The operator presently offers a VOD library of about 3,800 programs, and about 95 percent of those titles are "free," Comcast said.
The MSO said movies, music, sports and children's programming are the most popular categories. The most watched free title so far this year is Ciara's "1, 2 Step," which has garnered 3.2 million views. The SpongeBob SquarePants "The Chaperone" episode is leading the children's category with 1.3 million views.
"One billion views in less than 10 months proves that on-demand is transforming the way people watch TV," said Page Thompson, VP and GM of Comcast On Demand.Comcast said a "view" is tabulated when a customer selects an on-demand program and that program is later deleted from the saved program file. Trick-play functions (pause, rewind, fast-forward) and restarts are considered part of the original "view."