Comcast promotes Xfinity with free 'Mad Men' episodes

Comcast has decided to make some episodes of several cable shows — including the first two episodes of AMC’s “Mad Men,” which returns Sunday after a 17-month hiatus — available to a broader audience.

Including, in some cases, people who don’t have cable service

Promotional opportunity for its Xfinity brand or gateway drug?

You decide.

Here’s how it works, according to Comcast:

For “Mad Men,” for the entire fifth season, the episode that airs on Sunday will be availabe the next day on On Demand or online at (which didn’t used to get the most current episodes).
The season’s first two episodes — running back-to-back this Sunday — “will be available to a national audience on, meaning anyone, both customers and non-customers, can visit the site to watch the first two episodes of Season 5,” according to the cable provider.

In addition, Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” “The Big C” and “The Borgias,” which all return April 8, will premiere online two weeks earlier at to a national audience, including non-subscribers and Comcast subscribers will be able to view them On Demand or on  the Showtime app, even if they’re not Showtime subscribers.

“Magic City,” a new ‘50s drama from Starz, will have its first three episodes posted a week before its April 6 premiere, available nationally on Xfinity On Demand, and through the Xfinity TV app.