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Free ESPN in Dorm Rooms Gives Comcast Access to Future Customers

  • More than 100 schools sign up for cable giant’s online service
  • Comcast gains insight into habits of hard-to-reach generation
during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Photographer: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

For two years, Northwestern University student Ben Pope and his friends have gathered in dorms, connected their laptops to TVs and computer monitors, and streamed multiple sports events at once.

While they were watching, so was Comcast Corp., using data from the online video service it markets on about 100 campuses to gain insights into young audiences who have so far eluded conventional pay-TV providers.