Comcast's newly announced program, Xfinity on Campus, lets college dorm dwellers watch almost 80 channels, as well as access Xfinity On Demand programming. But this isn't some lofty good will gesture—student loans and students' parents will still be footing the bill.
The Xfinity on Campus program targets millennials, forever absorbed in their gadgets, and reworks the traditional college cable setup by also streaming 80 channels—including AMC, Comedy Central, ESPN, FX, and MTV—to smartphones, laptops, and desktops. You can also pay more for premium channels like HBO and Starz, but we suggest just co-opting your parent's credentials if need be.
All of this is essentially a lite verison of an already existing individual service, and the cost of this new TV streaming venture will be included in tuition, most likely shoved under the heading "technology fee." Comcast says that it'll soon offer an upgrade option so students can also use a cloud-based DVR service.
Infinity on Campus undoubtedly adds value to the typical college cable setup. Comcast's cloud-based X1 streaming platform would at least let you take your channels and other content with you when you inevitably have to pack up your bags and visit the folks for the holidays. It also makes having a television optional for many college students, which means move-in day will have much less spine-snapping potential.
And much like free dorm food and minimal amounts of responsibility, Comcast is obviously hoping that Xfinity is just another thing post-grads will yearn for, and eventually pay for, once they leave college. This is just another example of turning young would-be subscribers into long-lasting customers. In an industry that's constantly under threat of cord-cutting, meeting halfway with a program that plays well with mobile devices—and is also hidden in the guise of "room and board"—is pretty genius.
Comcast's collegiate offer will be available for a few colleges, including Drexel University, Emerson College, and the University of Delaware, with others testing out the programming in the fall semester. [Comcast]