TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser SocialTimes AllTwitter AllFacebook InsideFacebook InsideSocialGames InsideMobileApps GalleyCat FishbowlNY FishbowlDC

Why Comcast’s Mobile Hotspot Plans Have Major TV Everywhere Implications

Comcast-LogoThe San Francisco Chronicle reports that Comcast plans to “turn thousands of wireless Internet routers in private homes in the Bay Area into publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots” and that, with 8 million hotspots in 19 U.S. cities available to customers and non-customers alike, the company may be angling to create a wireless phone network.

Mobile hotspots will also have major TV Everywhere implications. The theory is that even if consumers continue to cut cords and unsubscribe from cable packages – and recent Viacom and Adobe TV Everywhere studies show that this is far from the case – a Comcast-Time Warner deal would still give the cable and internet giant control over the bandwidth required to stream – whether through AirPlay or Google Chromecast, or through over-the-top devices like Amazon Fire TV and Roku. If consumers want to unsubscribe from expensive cable packages, so it goes, they cannot unsubscribe from a relationship with Comcast-Time Warner.

Again, research shows that consumers like their cable packages and see TV Everywhere as a value-add. The access to mobile hotspots wherever a consumer is may further strengthen these ties. Streaming an NHL game via NBC Sports Extra while in Central Park is a data suck for those not on unlimited plans, and a 4G signal, while strong, is sometimes not enough to get the job done.

The Comcast-owned NBC Sports has already experimented with an authentication preview model for accessing live Olympics coverage. Non-authenticators had 5 minutes of live sports before having to sign in, while authenticators had full access. As part of the mobile hotspot plans, Comcast’s top-tier Internet subscribers are able to access the public hotspots for free. “Lower-tier customers and noncustomers get two free one-hour sessions per month, then are charged a fee by the hour, day or week,” according to the Chronicle.

Mediabistro Course

Social Media Strategy Boot Camp

Social Media Strategy Boot CampStarting November 10, build a complete social media strategy for your brand! Through a series of weeklong webcasts, marketing and social media experts will teach you how to integrate social media into your overall marketing strategy, understand key metrics and analytics, and master the emerging trends in social. Register now!