Comcast rolls out Web TV service nationally

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Comcast Corp said on Tuesday it has rolled out on-demand service to its paying video and Internet subscribers, allowing them to watch some of their favorite shows online.

The new service will be called Fancast XFINITY TV, and is the largest iteration of a cable industry initiative called TV Everywhere. The cable TV programmers like Time Warner Inc and Viacom Inc are working with pay-TV providers like Comcast and satellite TV operators to offer their subscribers Web access to some popular shows whenever they want.

TV Everywhere is a drive to pre-empt the cable TV business model being undermined by the availability of free programing on the Web on services like Hulu, which is jointly owned by News Corp, NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co.

Comcast said Xfinity will be available at home but also on-the-go when the user signs in via laptop though there are plans to eventually extend it to other mobile devices next year.

Xfinity has launched with an extra 2,000 hours of content from more than 30 cable network partners like Time Warner's HBO and Cinemax, Liberty Media's Starz, and BBC America. In a demo, executives showed that the new site features complete seasons of popular shows like The Sopranos and Big Love.

(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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