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thePlatform to Power Comcast’s Online Video for Cable

Cable operators are in cahoots with the networks to provide an online video extension to their cable subscriptions, was the overnight word from the Wall Street Journal, as we mentioned this morning. But where the WSJ quoted anonymous sources, now Comcast (s cmcsa )subsidiary, thePlatform is saying publicly that it will provide the video infrastructure for the project.

From an email sent to us from a rep for thePlatform:

“As you speculated, we can now confirm that thePlatform is providing the backing technology for this effort and will be working with Comcast on the efforts.”

thePlatform CEO Ian Blaine has confirmed the news through blog post on its corporate site:

It is good for consumers because they get access to more content in more places. It is also good for cable programmers because it doesn’t put subscription fees at risk, and gives them the ability to give their audiences the experience they want and expect. The content belongs online and it’s exciting to see that there’s now a push to do it in a way that works. I also think that this represents a model that could be adopted by telcos, carriers, and satellite providers, which would obviously benefit a broader set of consumers. This is a natural evolution of the subscription video business and opens the door to a lot of innovation in both product enhancements and ways to package content.

We’ll have to wait and see how “good for consumers” the cable companies are willing to be with this online video initiative, or whether — like cable companies are wont to do — they see this as an opportunity to exert more control, block others from providing the same premium content, and as an excuse to jack up your rates even further. The good news for consumers, though, is that thePlatform has a lot of experience powering consumer-friendly online video for the likes of Fancast, PBS and the BBC.

This is also a big score for thePlatform in the highly competitive video publishing space (though a bit of a gimme, since Comcast owns thePlatform). If Comcast and Time Warner Cable (s TWC) can convert their oldteevee influence and footprint into a newteevee land grab, thePlatform will have a leg up on competitors like Brightcove, Move Networks and Digitalsmiths.

UPDATE: MediaMemo and BusinessInsider have more details about Comcast’s upcoming online video service (dubbed “Authentication” (seriously)).

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