Comcast CEO promises more binge-viewing, faster platforms

Brian Roberts Comcast

The cable industry is adapting just fine to the changing habits of TV viewers and to the arrival of ultra-fast competitors like Google Fiber, according to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Cable Show in Washington, Roberts shared his thoughts on the future of the TV industry and showed off new Comcast kit intended to provide a faster, more-connected experience. The technology included cloud service X2, which allows subscribers to customize their experience to a greater degree than previous services, showing recently watched shows, favorite apps and other types of personalized content. Roberts also showed off a 3-gigabit/sec connection capable of gulping down a movie near-instantly (see our take here).

Addressing the current cable viewing experience, Roberts acknowledged that cross-screen consumption through Comcast’s TV Everywhere is far from integrated.

“Guilty as charged that we haven’t made it as easy as it needs to be. We need to make a tablet so it automatically knows it’s you and you don’t need to authenticate,” he said, adding that Facebook would be another sign-in option.

Roberts also acknowledged people’s propensity for “binge-viewing,” which has taken off in response to offerings by Netflix and other non-traditional TV providers. In response, he said Comcast would be repeating its “Watchathon” experiment — where customers can binge on hundreds of episodes of popular shows like The Walking Dead — at least every 90 days.

The Roberts talk was part of an industry event so needless to say, there were no questions about cord-cutting, disruptors like Aereo or breaking up the cable bundle.

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