Sochi Olympics- A Test Bed for New Comcast Services
By| February 3, 2014
When it kicks off later this week, the Sochi Olympic Games will be the test kitchen for new Comcast services and ideas, including Primetime Olympics Live on its new X1 platform, the SEEiT feature created from the MSO’s collaboration with Twitter, and auto-authentication.
NBC Sports Live Extra
For the first time, customers with Comcast’s Xfinity TV X1 set-top box can live stream all Olympic sporting events on their televisions and mobile devices, through NBC Sports Live Extra. Other pay TV subscribers can access the app only through mobile devices. In select markets, Comcast will make NBC’s primetime coverage available on demand immediately after it starts. In addition, the MSO updated its X1 Sports companion app, which gives viewers more information and control features, such the ability to tune in to live and VOD content through the app.
SEEiT at Sochi
The Sochi Games will be the first SEEiT Olympics. The social TV service created after Comcast’s comprehensive deal with Twitter allows Xfinity TV subs to select viewing options directly from conversations happening on Twitter, including the ability to tune-in to the primetime broadcast or record it. The MSO added more distribution partners and networks to the SEEiT initiative, but those services will be rolled out after the Olympics, Vito Forlenza, director of TV Everywhere content and product strategy, told us.
One of the things Comcast is focusing on this year is making sign-in easier, Forlenza said. During the London Olympics, Comcast tested in-home automatic sign-in for the first time and now both in-home auto sign-in and Facebook Connect are standards for Xfinity subs. The in-home auto authentication process for the NBC Live Extra app matches IP addresses on the WiFi router to customers’ accounts, allowing subs to access content without entering login info. Cross-domain verification will also be used, meaning subs who have already entered login info on another TV Everywhere site or mobile video app using Adobe Pass won’t have to enter login again to watch Olympics programming. For anyone wanting to sign up for new service—Xfinity TV Digital Starter or above—Comcast is providing credentials on the phone immediately so that viewers can start watching Olympics content online and on mobile devices before equipment is installed. Current subs who upgrade their existing package on Digital Starter or higher will also get immediate access.