To Hook Young People, Comcast Bundles Pay TV With Campus Housing

Company Doesn't Want Students to Learn Life Without Cable

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The University of New Hampshire.
The University of New Hampshire. Credit: UNH Communications & Marketing

Comcast is offering students at seven colleges live TV and video on-demand on their smartphones, tablets and computers as part of on-campus housing, all part of a bid to keep young people from learning to live without cable.

Xfinity On Campus, baked into students' room and board, will start this term at Bridgewater College, Drexel University, Emerson College, Lasell College and the University of Delaware, Comcast said today in a statement. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of New Hampshire will run trials.

The service will include more than 80 channels, including every major broadcast network in those markets and cable channels such as AMC, Bravo, Comedy Central, ESPN, FX and MTV. Students will get both live and on-demand access.

Comcast is the incumbent pay-TV provider on those campuses.

Mobile devices and services such as YouTube and Netflix have forced pay-TV companies to experiment with new ways to reach younger viewers on limited budgets. YouTube generates more than 40% of its views from mobile devices.

"With this younger generation, more and more viewing is happening away from the traditional TV set, and we have evolved our products and services to better engage them," Marcien Jenckes, Comcast's executive VP-consumer services, said in the post.

Comcast also wants to keep college students from getting too accustomed to life without cable.

~ Bloomberg News with Ad Age staff ~

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