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Comcast to offer music videos on demand

/ Source: The Associated Press

Comcast Corp. plans to begin offering music videos on demand to its broadband Internet subscribers early next year, part of a multiyear deal with the television network Music Choice.

Some 6.7 million Comcast broadband customers will have access to the cable company's new service at launch, Music Choice officials said Wednesday.

In addition to being able to choose from a selection of music videos, computer users will also be able to buy song downloads through a partnership with Napster 2.0 and browse dozens of music video and audio channels.

The broadband service will precede Philadelphia-based Comcast's nationwide rollout of the same service for digital cable, which is expected to begin next year in Richmond, Va., and be completed in early 2006, Music Choice chief executive Dave Del Beccarro said Wednesday.

Users will eventually be able to create a video play list or music channel on their computers and access it through their digital cable boxes, a feature Del Beccarro says should help dispatch competition from other online music video purveyors such as Yahoo! Launch and America Online.

"The multiplatform nature of it is what's truly different," he said.

Initially, up to 2,000 music videos will be available through the service.

Music Choice is a private partnership of four major cable operators — Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Adelphia — along with Sony, EMI Music, Warner Music Group, Microsoft and Motorola.