PHILADELPHIA—Comcast Business revealed that its X1 video platform is now available to the millions of bars, restaurants, hotels, gyms and other businesses across Comcast’s footprint. X1 for Business includes easier search and navigation, voice control and a picture-in-picture, sports content companion called the X1 Sports App that includes team and players profiles, statistics and real-time, game-specific data, according to the company.
“Hotels’ reputations have always centered on their ability delight and excite guests with amenities that make them feel as comfortable as they do at home,” said Christian Nascimento, VP, product management at Comcast Business. “X1 for Business upgrades the hotel guest experience by allowing them to search for their favorite content, including sports, news, shows, music and more using the power of their voice.”
The launch of X1 for Business arrives just in time for the NCAA Basketball Tournament, one of the most profitable times of the year for sports bars and restaurants. According to the American Gaming Association, 70 million college basketball brackets are filled out annually and last year, first-round coverage averaged 8.6 million television viewers, up from 8.2 million in 2017.
“X1 for Business allows hotels to offer property-branded channels and provide guests access to the personalized premium content they watch at home, such as Netflix and shows recorded on their DVR,” said Nascimento. “Additionally, X1 for Business integrates with hotels’ property management systems (PMS) to brings concierge-style technology to the room, giving them the freedom to view their bill, check out and order room service—all from their TV.”
Today, about two-thirds of Comcast’s residential customers have X1. X1 for Business will offer businesses and their customers:
Voice Control: Businesses can use the X1 Voice Remote to quickly search for networks, shows and movies, change the channel, get recommendations, navigate content and more. There are more than 24 million residential voice remotes deployed and there were 8 billion voice searches last year alone.
On-Screen Guide: The easy to use on-screen guide and search functionality allows employees to focus on serving customers, and not searching for programming. A view of the last nine channels makes accessing popular and most-watched content easier than ever.
Sports Content: Provide customers with up to the minutes sports updates. The X1 Sports app brings real-time scores and statistics to sports like baseball, football, basketball and NASCAR, alongside the in-game action
Accessibility: The X1 talking guide is the industry’s first and only voice-enabled television user interface that reads aloud selections like program titles, network and time slots, serving as a solution for TV fans who have a visual disability.
Language of Choice: Bicultural customers can quickly change the guide and channel listings from English to Spanish and find Spanish-language and SAP-enabled programming through advanced filtering directly within the experience.
“Comcast has the potential to disrupt the nearly $4 billion United States business TV market with X1 for Business,” said Greg Ireland, multiscreen video analyst at IDC. “Products and solutions that have generated excellent results on the residential side can help businesses gain an edge in attracting new and returning customers.”
Nascimento shared details on the nationwide rollout for hotels: “Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia will include X1 in all of its guestrooms when it opens later this year. Comcast Business is also trialing and/or rolling the solution with hotels across the country, including the Hilton Denver Inverness.”
X1 for Business is now available to businesses across Comcast’s footprint. Customers from across industries will begin upgrading their service to enhance experiences such as: in-room, voice-controlled TV watching in hotels; real-time sports stats and content at workout stations in gyms; and intuitive, easy-to-navigate channel options while at the office.
“This technology is already winning guests over in their homes and bringing it to hotels and other businesses across the nation the natural next step,” said Nascimento. “For hoteliers that are looking to digitally transform their guest’s experiences, X1 for Business is an option that will improve guest satisfaction, elevate their in-room experience, and add value to a hotel’s offerings.”