Comcast and Twitter announced a new partnership today that will drastically integrate tweeting into the cable TV watching experience.
Twitter has been looking for new ways to connect with media companies like Comcast in an effort to build on the ridiculously lucrative TV ad industry, which sees billions of dollars spent every year. The most prominent way Twitter has done this is through its Amplify program, which allows TV networks to embed videos and other promotional materials within tweets that have a specific hashtag related to one of its TV shows. However, this new partnership with Comcast actually attempts to pull in those idle Twitter users who aren’t actually watching a program.
Comcast’s new “See It” feature, which is basically a Twitter card that shows a “See It” button, will pop up on all tweets sent out from Twitter accounts that are controlled by Comcast-owned NBCUniversal. That See It button will not only provide more information about particular shows but will also allow Comcast cable TV subscribers to watch or record that particular show directly from their laptop or mobile device — thus bypassing the television screen altogether and making the remote control much less useful.
The move could have something to do with the number of non-viewers who see a TV-related tweet versus those who tweet while watching that particular show. Earlier this week Nielsen released its new Twitter-focused TV rating data that shows that far more people read tweets about TV shows than are watching the shows, and Comcast is trying to reel those people in.
The See It button is scheduled to roll out next month for a number of NBCUniversal TV stations, including NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, E!, Esquire Network, and The Golf Channel. Some of the shows that will initially support the See It button include The Voice, Sunday Night Football, Suits, and unsurprisingly, Psych.