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The immediate payoff for Comcast is content that it hopes will convince its basic subscribers to upgrade to digital — and keep them from defecting to satellite TV.
Eventually it may also sell sponsorship opportunities, Thompson said.
The professionally produced videos include questions designed to let viewers "see the real person," he said.
Copyright 2005 Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Copyright 2005 Philadelphia Inquirer Philadelphia Inquirer February 10, 2005, Thursday The stars of an early hit in the nascent world of video-on-demand are about 150 single people from the Philadelphia area. The program is called Dating on Demand, and while it doesn't really provide dates on demand, it is a new wrinkle to the Internet dating phenomenon, which lately has shown signs of leveling off after a long boom. So hot, according to Comcast Corp., which created the service in a partnership with an online dating service called Hurry Date.com, that the cable company will launch it in all of its video-on-demand markets on Monday, Valentine's Day.
Digital cable packages that include On Demand start at about a month; Comcast says about 90 percent of the on-demand programs are free. There's no charge to watch the videos, or to have your own video added to the list.Viewers who like what they see can initiate contact by paying for a subscription with an online site operated by speed dating service Hurry Date."It's a natural evolution of the online dating world," said Ken Deckinger, co-founder and chief executive officer of Hurry Date.The service was conceived as Comcast was "trying to think of what the next evolution of on-demand programming would be," said Page Thompson, general manager of Comcast's On Demand service."We wanted something that would not exist on a linear channel." Those linear channels are TV as most of us know it — channels showing programs one after the other.
In fact, they were consistently as popular as most of the 2,000 movies, fitness sports and other videos available on demand.