Yesterday’s news that Hulu soon plans to start charging for its service actually came fresh on the heels of Comcast’s announcement that it’s about to officially launch online streaming video for subscribers to both their cable TV and Internet services.
Viewers can access the cable shows and movies through Comcast-owned Comcast.net and Fancast.com and eventually on the Web site of cable networks such as AMC, which is owned by Cablevision Systems Corp. After users log in, the cable system will perform such checks as whether a Comcast cable modem is being used.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts showed off the new service at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on Tuesday, likening it to “video on demand on steroids.”
Comcast has no plans to offer an online-only subscription for cable channels, a move that could cannibalize its own cable TV offerings. However, it will expand ways in which viewers can rent and buy shows and movies through an integrated store on Fancast.com.
It’s been mentioned that the shows included in this program will include HBO content—but it’s unclear whether this will be available only to cable subscribers who already pay for HBO.
Comcast to debut cable shows online by year’s end [AP]