NBC Universal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) – the largest cable multiple-system operator (MSO) in the U.S. – recently launched an application on iPad, iPhone and Android devices, which will allow all viewers to watch the 2012 Olympics on their smartphones and tablets.
The customers with MSBC and CNBC network subscription will be able to watch the major events of the London Olympic 2012 live on their mobile devices after downloading the NBC Olympics and NBC Olympics Live applications.
The new application, which is developed by Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE), is also capable of capturing user interaction with the content and ads on the applications. Moreover, users can also set reminders for their favorite events, record them and watch later, and change the viewing options while watching events.
Live streaming of sports was not possible earlier but a higher proliferation of smartphones and tablets have induced many pay-TV operators to offer such applications to their subscribers which can easily be downloaded on mobile devices and facilitate easy viewing of different sporting events.
Though the availability of such applications will boost online subscriber growth, it will also reduce pay-TV subscriber growth, as most cable and satellite customers will give up the TV services for Internet services. Moreover, many U.S. prepaid and post-paid telecom service providers are offering unlimited data plans at competitive rates, which will further accelerate online subscriber growth.
So the best option available to the cable TV operators is to increase the data plan rates and further diversify its service product portfolio with innovative service plans.
Currently, we are maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on Comcast. Comcast has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock.
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