Twitter Partners with Comcast to Launch “See It” Feature

Andrew Klips  |

Ahead of its heavily anticipated initial public offering, Twitter looks to be proving ways that it can generate more revenue in the future.  The social network has now disclosed a new partnership with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and NBC Universal that allows Comcast’s Xfinity users to tune in to a television show directly from a tweet.

The new feature, called “See It,” is supposed to go live in November.  It will provide users the ability to change the channel, set the DVR, set a reminder or play an On Demand show.

See It is designed to integrate with other video distribution partners, television networks and websites. We look forward to working with Comcast to extend this offering to other partners who will connect more great content to Twitter,” posted Jana Messerschmidt, VP of Business Development and Platform at Twitter, on the Twitter blog.

As part of the deal, Comcast’s NBC Universal is joining Twitter’s Amplify advertising program.  The program drives awareness of TV programs by embedding sponsored, real-time video clips in tweets that are spread throughout the network. 

In February, Comcast dolled-out $16.7 billion to by the 49-percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric (GE) that it didn’t already own.

San Francisco-based Twitter, once just a 140-character status website, has been looking to grow additional revenue streams and keep users longer on its site.  Messerschmidt commented that millions of people are exposed to tweets every day about a program, often motivating people to tune in to a program.  The partnership makes it easier for them, while also immediately bolstering viewership for Comcast.  Comcast, the largest cable provider in the U.S., would ultimately like to see more websites, such as Facebook (FB) , launch similar platforms, which should payoff big with an easy conversion from web chatter to consumption.

"See It is a simple yet powerful feature that creates an instant, online remote control," said Brian Roberts, chief executive at Comcast, in a statement.

Twitter has reportedly been in discussions with Viacom, Inc. (VIA) for a deal as well that could build ad revenue, in addition to partners that have already penned deals, such as ESPN, the National Football League and CBS Corp (CBS) .  The company is hoping to roll-the service out with many other cable companies and content providers.

Programming that is expected to debut on the service will include “The Voice,” “Sunday Night Football” and other programs on NBC, NBC Sports, CNBC, The Golf Channel, E! and more.  The “See It” program will work in a simple manner.  When a post is made about a Comcast-owned program, a “See It” button will be on the bottom of the post, encouraging a call to action by the user.  Once clicked, the user will be asked to login with the requisite password to begin watching, similar to other services to watch programs online.  Users will be able to watch on their home television, computer or connected mobile device.


Shares of Comcast have edged ahead in early Thursday trading, rising 1.3 percent to $44.90.  So far in 2013, shares of CMCSA are up by about 21 percent.

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