Comcast has announced that its customers have watched 20 billion "entertainment choices" on demand since the service launched in 2003. This is the company's way of reminding the cable industry that not all has been lost to Internet companies like Netflix.

As you can see in the chart below, Comcast started with 200 million entertainment views from 740 entertainment choices in 2003. The company is offering 25,000 entertainment choice in 2011, and has now passed 20 billion entertainment views to date.

To celebrate the milestone, Comcast has launched the Xfinity On Demand Awards, which honors the top-performing movies, TV series, musical artists, and other programming as determined by what customers watched the most on the service. The following are the all-time, most-viewed new release movies, TV series, and musical artists.

Overall Most-Viewed New Release Movies:

  1. The Hangover (Warner Bros.)
  2. The Blind Side (Warner Bros.)
  3. Couples Retreat (Universal)

Overall Most-Viewed TV Series:

  1. South Park (Comedy Central)
  2. Entourage (HBO)
  3. Sex and the City (HBO)

Overall Most-Viewed Musical Artists:

  1. Beyoncé
  2. Chris Brown
  3. Ciara

Late next month, Comcast will also kick-off a sweepstakes. Entrants can sign-up for the sweepstakes online to enter for a chance to win a grand prize package which includes a walk-on role on NBC's 30 Rock plus a Universal Orlando Resort vacation and tickets to a Universal Pictures Premiere and after-party.

"On Demand was the first technology to give millions of our customers instant access to entertainment choices to watch on their schedule," Marcien Jenckes, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video Services at Comcast, said in a statement. "By making a huge library of content available for free with a click of the remote, On Demand was an instant hit and continues to drive viewership. The service has been a major influence in the adoption of time-shifted viewing, which has now become mainstream."

In November 2010, we wrote about cord cutting, the term used for people canceling their cable subscriptions because they can find the content for free or for less online and via other means. Comcast's relative success with Xfinity reminds us how the cable industry can fight back: provide on demand as the main service.