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Comcast Targets College Students for Xfinity TV Expansion

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Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Free Report) , the largest cable MSO (multi service operator) in the U.S., is progressively deploying its next-generation Xfinity TV, an on-demand, web-based service, which will enable subscribers to access both video programming and Internet.

The new Xfinity TV set-top box is integrated with an innovative system which facilitates easy navigation between live and on-demand programming. Comcast currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Yesterday, Comcast launched its Xfinity On Campus service, which will allow college students to watch live TV and on-demand content on their IP-enabled devices, like laptops, tablets and smartphones while on campus.

The service will initially be offered to Bridgewater College, Drexel University, Emerson College, Lasell College and the University of Delaware. Moreover, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of New Hampshire will conduct trial runs of Xfinity TV.

Cable TV operators in the U.S. are facing severe competitive threat from low-cost online video streaming services of Netflix Inc. (NFLX - Free Report) , YouTube, Hulu and Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) .

Xfinity TV is Comcast’s answer to these challenges. Xfinity On Campus offers approximately 80 live cable channels along with popular TV channels like AMC, Bravo, Comedy Central, ESPN, FX and MTV. Students also can access a broad range of current season TV shows and hit movies on the Xfinity On Demand network.

Colleges and universities have become next growth areas for the U.S. pay-TV industry. To capitalize on this, DIRECTV is already offering NFLSundayTicket, which provide online access to professional football games, at 10 universities.

Similarly, AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) has decided to add 50 more TV channels to its U-verse streaming application service. At present AT&T subscribers can view 180 TV channels on mobile devices. Notably, AT&T has decided to acquire DIRECTV for $48.5 billion, which is currently pending regulatory approval.  

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