Cable industry pushes for interactive online TV to compete with Hulu among others

The cable industry is feeling increased pressure from online sites like Hulu that let you watch select TV shows whenever you want straight from your computer. The cable industry is now feeling increased pressure to do something about companies like Hulu who pose a significant threat as trends indicate consumers are shifting to watching TV online and want interactivity and more choice.

Comcast will be expanding its free online video site Fancast to include more social media and social networking features, premium subscription services, and a wider assortment of online videos much like Hulu. Fancast will also stream live shows playing on TV to Fancast as part of a premium feature.

Comcast will also add social networking features to Fancast from its 2007 Plaxo acquisition. Users will be able to comment on shows and recommend them to friends and other users.

The cable industry is also pushing to make your actual TV experience more interactive. A new service dubbed tru2way, will allow regular TV viewers to interact with friends with chat, browse the web, find shows easily and even play games straight from their TV. Some are even forecasting tru2way to revolutionize the cable industry much the same as the iPhone has with apps in the mobile world.

There is no information yet as to a possible release for the improved Fancast site, but it will probably not be too soon.

As the trends shift towards interactive TV, it will also present new marketing opportunities for advertisers. For example, using the ability to browse the web, a simple link on advertisements will allow consumers to learn more about products and companies, and eventually even buy. These new marketing mediums will present opportunities for the cable industry to really capitalize on advertising in much the same way Google has with CPC ads given the millions of users.

The new moves come as the cable companies scramble to establish themselves with interactive TV and online TV, while pressuring networks such as TNT not to post their content online or face significant fees.


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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to hercules@business2press.com
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  • http://www.bogsie.com charlie

    another interactive online TV project!!

  • robby

    its seriously about time, i'm surprised they didn't build a killer project to squash everyone else lol

  • http://business2press.com Hercules K

    yup, yet another one lol. this should be interesting to see what everyone else like Hulu will do, maybe they will get more partners?

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