Comcast and Twitter create new feature to watch TV

Comcast Corp. has struck a partnership with Twitter to try to capitalize on the huge volume of social media conversations that occur about TV shows.

Twitter has turned out to be a digital water cooler with thousands of people around the country simultaneously engaging in real-time conversations on Twitter about favorite television shows or sporting events as they unfold.

Media companies, including Comcast, have been scurrying to find ways to channel these conversations that occur on the so-called “second screen” into more viewers for their television programming.

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The partnership between the two companies, announced Wednesday, will allow Comcast cable Xfinity customers to access NBC TV shows, including “The Voice,” “Blacklist,” “Chicago Fire,” movies and sporting events, including “Sunday Night Football,” directly from a Twitter message.

The company has developed a new feature, which it calls “See It,” that is designed to funnel its Comcast customers who use Twitter to the show with a click of a button.

“Comcast is taking a leap forward in social TV by enabling Twitter users to more easily find and view the shows they want to watch and discover new shows,” Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast, said in a prepared statement. “Twitter complements the live viewing experience and is an ideal partner for Comcast and NBCUniversal.”

The new feature is expected to roll out in November for shows that run on NBCUniversal networks. The company’s wanted to have the new feature running before NBC’s broadcast of the Winter Olympics in February.

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Here is how it will work: The See It button will enable a menu of options, including allowing viewers to tune into the television live, set their DVR to record the show or queue it up through the Comcast On Demand feature on their set-top box. They will also have the ability to tune in to a show online or on their mobile device.

The Philadelphia-based cable giant said the relationship with Twitter also includes advertising opportunities for its wholly owned media company, NBCUniversal. It plans to embed sponsored video clips into tweets to promote its TV shows.

“Twitter is where television viewers come to talk about what they’re watching on TV when they’re watching it,” Dick Costolo, chief executive of Twitter said. “With See It, they’ll be able to tune in directly from a tweet. It’s a great example of Comcast’s leadership in bringing TV to new platforms.”


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