Apparently Comcast has Netflix in its sight, as the company announced it will be launching a new streaming video service to compete with Netflix. Unfortunately for Comcast, it appears that they do not own the matching domain name, which I believe will be problematic, especially in the short term.
According to the Media Decoder blog on the New York Times website,
“Called Streampix, the service will give Comcast’s 22.3 million Xfinity cable subscribers access to 75,000 television shows and movies via cellphones, tablets and laptops.
The service is the result of a handful of licensing agreements Comcast has struck with media companies like Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers and its own NBCUniversal.“
As you are undoubtedly aware, Netflix is a huge advertiser, spending a ton of money on banner advertising as well as direct mail and other marketing campaigns. Netflix has established itself as the leading popular video service, and the company makes it very easy for consumers to access videos online at Netflix.com as well as by mail, when you add movies to your queue on Netflix.com.
Whois records show that Streampix.com was registered back in 2003, and it’s currently owned by a Canadian company called Norpix. The company’s “flagship product,” which “has become the ultimate Digital Video Recording software” is known as Streampix. Judging by the domain name’s expiration date of 2019, it doesn’t appear that the company has plans to relinquish this name any time soon.
Undoubtedly, if consumers are intrigued by a new service provider called Streampix, they will visit Streampix.com. Luckily for Comcast, the domain name does not appear resolve at the moment. However, NorPix does appear to have a trademark in Canada for StreamPix, granted it’s for digital recording software and not streaming videos, and it is in Canada.
I received an email from the CEO of Norpix, Luc Nocente, who commented:
“I was shocked and surprised at the actions taken by Comcast regarding the name Streampix. Norpix has a trademark protection on the word Streampix in Canada and the US since around 1999. We do a great percentage of our business in the US market and this is a blatant violation of our rights. I intend to take legal actions against Comcast. We feel this is going to create confusion and damage our business in the US market.“