Discovery Joins Comcast Online Trial

US reports say Discovery Communications is the latest company joining Comcast’s OnDemand Online Trial. Until now Discovery has resisted, its' main concern about making its material widely available online has been the risk of cannibalizing its existing business and upsetting the cable operators that provide its bread and butter.

In July, CBS became the first broadcast network to join the Comcast trial service, which requires users to authenticate themselves as paying cable subscribers. Time Warner’s HBO and Starz Entertainment are partners in the trial. Other networks involved include Time Warner’s TNT and TBS along with Rainbow Media, Scripps Networks, A&E Television Networks and BBC America.

Comcast expects to launch On Demand Online nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2009, if trials are successful.

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