“Get tickets” spoken into Comcast’s voice-control TV remote during a movie trailer will launch the online Fandango ticket-buying service.
The new feature is part of the Philadelphia cable giant’s long-held vision of an interactive television and its release is timed to boost Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom slated for June 22.
And it’s also part of the broader strategy at the Comcast-owned Fandango — which sells movie tickets to 30,000 U.S. movie screens — to push its service beyond just the traditional web-based platform. People now can access Fandango through voice-control Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa devices, as well as Facebook Messenger and Apple Inc.’s iMessage chat services.
Comcast says that movie ticket purchases will not appear on cable bills, as they will be paid for through a Fandango app, typically on smartphones. About 70 percent of Fandango’s tickets are sold over smartphones.
The nation’s largest cable-TV company, which also owns the movie studio Universal, will be the first cable company with the Fandango service available through its set-top box.
Comcast spokeswoman Debbie Frey said that the “Get Tickets” command will launch a Fandango app, showing movie theaters within a geographic area associated with the zip code of the Xfinity subscriber and show times of the movie. An Xfinity subscriber who wants to buy tickets will do so through a link texted to a smartphone.
“We’re thrilled to team up with Xfinity to offer millions of X1 customers across the country a convenient way to use their TV set and voice-activated remote to buy movie tickets right from their living rooms,” Mark Young, senior vice president of business development and strategy at Fandango, said in a statement.
The “Get Tickets” function will initially be available to Xfinity TV subscribers watching trailers on-demand, Frey said. But eventually, Comcast would like to integrate it into live television, she said.
Comcast also has a feature that allows Xfinity subscribers to speak into the voice-control TV remote and vote for a singing contestant on the NBC reality show The Voice.