Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer at Comcast Cable, talks with Bloomberg’s Edmund Lee and Alex Sherman about See It. The new technology will enable Comcast customers to watch NBC Universal network and cable shows directly from Twitter’s applications.
A portion of the conversation below:
Inside Scoop: Mechanically, how does it work? Can I actually watch “The Voice,” for instance, within a tweet itself?
Sam Schwartz: This will get better over time, but initially, what will happen is right there in your Twitter app: If you’re using it on an iPhone, for example, you’ll see a tweet about “The Voice,” and next to the tweet will be a little button, and the button will say “See It” on it. When you press that button, a little window will come up, still in the Twitter app. First time, if you’re a Comcast subscriber, you’ll tell the app you’re a Comcast subscriber. If not, we’ll still have some options for you … but as a Comcast subscriber, you’ll then get another screen, which gives you a menu of options of how you can “see it.” The choices might be things like, if it’s on television right now, you can change the channel automatically on your set-top box right to the channel that it’s playing on, or if it’s available on demand, we can play it on demand. Or if you’ve already recorded episodes, we’ll show you that, and you can start playing them back from your DVR. Also, if it’s available as part of TV Everywhere, as we call it, or the Xfinity TV app, or elsewhere in other apps, maybe on your smartphone, we’ll link directly out of the Twitter app and into those apps, and let you get to it that way.
Inside Scoop: Why would you want to share this with other pay-TV providers that could potentially be your competition?
Schwartz: That’s a good question. We see this as a platform that can really help the overall ecosystem. One of the things we want to help people do is to tune into live TV. Live TV is the place where the most engagement takes place. There’s interesting interactive possibilities there in the future. There’s also better monetization for the networks when people actually watch the television when it’s first broadcast, so we’re trying to help the ecosystem that way. For this to ultimately be successful, I think it’s going to have to have the broadest appeal, and to get the broadcast appeal, we want to have the most number of partners in it as possible.