Comcast has been acquiring the rights to provide full seasons of current shows from several networks, allowing viewers to catch up on popular series from the beginning and giving networks a new opportunity to build viewership.
While there had been concern this would encourage binge watching, Comcast has found that once viewers catch up, they watch new episodes during the C3 window. “That’s a new audience that’s going to be exposed to the ODCR [On Demand Credit] ads,” says Matt Strauss, general manager for video services at Comcast. And it provides additional reach for advertisers.
Strauss notes that sometimes, a new show doesn’t pick up steam until the third or fourth episode. When subscribers do latch on, binge viewing happens at first. But after that, most viewers do subsequent watching of that show when the episode is fresh. “It’s really about catching up and customers’ desires to stay current for all the reasons we all want to stay current: to be part of the social conversation and have the latest information,” Strauss says.