That’s sort of cool. But will it make a difference, either in terms of ratings for NBC or subscriber affinity for Comcast? There definitely was not a crying need to be able to vote using your cable TV remote, given the plethora of ways “The Voice” viewers have been able to participate in voting already.
Votes during the fan-participation stage of the singing-competition show also may be cast via NBC.com, Twitter, Facebook, and the “The Voice” app for iOS and Android. In addition, NBC has a deal with Apple, under which you “vote” for an artist by listening to the song he or she performed on “The Voice” on Apple Music or buying it on iTunes.
For what it’s worth, Xfinity X1 is currently the only NBC distribution partner to offer “The Voice” on-screen voting on TV. (Corporate synergy in action: Comcast owns NBCUniversal.)
Here’s how the voting feature works: Using their X1 voice remote, fans watching ‘The Voice’ on X1 can access their on-screen ballot by saying, “vote for ‘The Voice’,” or by pressing the info button on the remote. A panel on the right side of the TV screen will appear that categorizes the artists by team, letting users browse and vote for their favorite performers. Viewers may cast one vote per artist on the X1 platform during the live broadcast and up until one hour after it ends.
“The Voice,” currently in its 13th season, airs Mondays and Tuesday on NBC at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
“‘The Voice’ has always been a show that leverages the digital space, and each season we continue to innovate on ways to engage fans across platforms,” said Rob Hayes, EVP of digital at NBC Entertainment. “The X1 partnership, which gives audiences a seamless interactive viewing experience, is a natural extension of ‘The Voice’s’ brand as one of the most social shows on television.”
Comcast had 21.3 million consumer cable TV subscribers as of the end of September 2017. The U.S.’s biggest cable operator said 57% of residential video customers now have the X1 set-top and service.