Comcast’s ‘Summer of Kids’ Spotlights VOD, Video Downloads

Comcast is giving parents a way to keep the kiddos occupied with video goodness this summer as they gear up for vacations that might involve cross-country plane rides or hours-long road trips.

Taking a more thematic and lengthier approach to the concept it introduced in March with “Watchathon Week,” Comcast has launched a “Summer of Kids” promotion that showcases an array of kids-themed titles that can be watched on-demand or downloaded to tablets and smartphones using the MSO’s Xfinity TV Player app.

Maggie Suniewick, Comcast’s VP of programming, hinted at the Multichannel News/B&C On Demand Summit in May that the MSO was working on other Watchathon-like promos that will focus on specific themes and content libraries, including children’s programming. 

Targeted to families as they gear up for summer vacations, the new Summer of Kids on-the-go tilt will feature content from networks, studios and brands such as NBC Universal, Angry Birds, HBO, Showtime, Nickelodeon, Disney, Sprout, Cartoon Network, Starz, The Hub, and Streampix, Comcast’s own premium, multi-screen streaming service.

Comcast estimates that more than 1,000 children’s titles are available for downloading for watching in the car, on the plane or other on-the-go locations where Internet access might be limited or unavailable. Other content partners include Baby Boost, BabyFirst, Warner Brothers, Cookie Jar, Buena Vista, Cbeebies, Encore, Golden Films, HBO, Kabillion, Lionsgate,  Paramount, PBS Kids Go, and The HUB.

The MSO is building in a social networking component with a feature on the Xfinity TV Facebook page that encourages customers to vote for a movie they’d like to see discounted during “Family Movie Night” weekends in July.

In a partnership with Common Sense Media, Comcast’s Xfinity TV site is integrating TV show and film ratings and letting customers filter content by age group and popularity on the MSO’s set-top-based Xfinity On Demand service.  Comcast has also added a dedicated family and kids section for its Xfinity TV Player app for Apple devices.

Comcast is also extending the promo outside its own customer base by making its public Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots available for free to anyone with a Wi-Fi-enabled device from July 15 through July 30.

“Xfinity On Demand brings families a huge selection of the best kids content to enjoy safely together. As we head into the busy summer travel season, Summer of Kids provides them with even more content and more ways to watch while on the go.” Suniewick said, in a statement. “We’re also giving parents ultimate peace of mind for safer, smarter viewing across devices by expanding our parental controls and giving them new ways to help find age-appropriate content across our entire Xfinity On Demand platform.” 

The kids tilt comes on the heels of Xfinity Watchathon Week, a cross-platform promo in March that broke several VOD usage records and featured more than 3,500 episodes from 30 TV networks for no extra charge. Comcast has plans to turn Watchathon into an annual event.