ABC, Comcast Present Oscar Content Over X1

Comcast and ABC Television said they are working together to provide subscribers with access to Oscar content via the Xfinity X1 cable operating system.

Viewers will have access to more than 1,500 hours of video on demand, plus live streams of backstage and red carpet activities on their TV by using their remote control and voice commands.

Last year, a similar effort helped propel a 39% ratings lift for the Academy Awards broadcast on ABC in Comcast homes, compared to non-Comcast homes.

“This year’s The Oscars experience is another example of X1 enabling us to collaborate with content partners to build innovative and immersive viewing experiences around their programming,” said Daniel Spinosa, general manager of movies, pay-per-view and commerce at Comcast Cable. “The Oscars is an iconic and beloved event watched by millions of Americans across the country and we’re excited to further expand our partnership with ABC and the Academy to enhance the experience for X1 customers.”

This year’s Oscars destination on X1 will feature:

“The Oscars: All-Access” digital stream, which includes footage from red carpet and backstage cameras, will be available on X1, Xfinity TV app, and the day of the broadcast starting at 7 p.m. ET.

New voice commands to help customers quickly find Oscar-winning films from years' past. Saying “show me” and the name of the film will not only take customers to that movie’s page, but customers will be surprised to hear an actual notable quote from the film voiced back to them. For example, if a customer says “show me Finding Nemo,” into the remote, they’ll hear Ellen DeGeneres’ chipper rallying cry “just keep swimming” voiced back to them on the TV.

An expansive on demand collection of more than 700 Oscar-winning films, as well as highlights and web clips related to this year’s nominees and historic moments.

“Last year, Xfinity X1 delivered a fantastic The Oscars experience for fans before, during and after the Oscar telecast,” said Justin Connolly, executive VP, Disney and ESPN Networks affiliate sales and marketing. “Working together with Comcast and the Academy, we’re able to deliver an even more immersive, interactive environment across a variety of platforms that movie fans will love.”

The day after the show, the full 89th Oscars ceremony will be available to watch on demand. In addition, highlights from the event will be added to the destination, giving subscribers the opportunity to catch-up or re-live the night’s big moments, including red carpet interviews, winner speeches and skits.

The 89th Oscars will be held on Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will be broadcast live on ABC at 7 p.m. ET.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.