By Sahil Patel
“House of Cards,” an Emmy-winning TV show from a non-traditional TV platform, will now be available from one of the biggest traditional TV providers in the country.
Comcast has inked a deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which oversees international and home-video distribution for the Media Rights Capital-produced political drama, to sell the first season of the show via its new Xfinity Store service. Obviously, this does not require a Netflix subscription, and would allow Xfinity subscribers to directly buy and watch the show on their TVs.
That said, just because it was bought on a TV, doesn’t mean that’s the only place Comcast customers can watch the show. Once purchased, “House of Cards” will be available across Xfinity’s TV, online, and mobile app platforms.
To be fair, the first season of “House of Cards” has already been available outside of Netflix. For instance, you can buy a DVD set on Amazon right now. So this is just an instance of Comcast getting electronic sell-through rights to a Netflix original series, much like it would do with any other TV provider.
In fact, Comcast has a deal in place with Lionsgate to sell the first season of another Netflix Original, “Orange Is the New Black,” beginning in May.
Comcast’s EST deals with Sony, Lionsgate, and other providers like Warner Bros. typically bring film and TV content to its Xfinity service “several weeks” before they’re available on DVD and VOD, Comcast Cable president and CEO Neil Smit said during a session at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet, & Telecom Conference earlier today.