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Quietly, a web giant takes shape

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Comcast has been slowly leveraging its position as the number one broadband provider in the US into a position at Web’s version of the big-boys table, where stakes are high and tempers higher. The company, today acquired online ticketing company Fandango, for what is rumored to be a $200 million sticker price.

Fandango is also going to become a key component of a new site being launched by Comcast called, Fancast, hoping to goose up what is already a pretty strong web presence. According to comScore, as of February 2007, Comcast was ranked as the #9 in terms of page views, placing it ahead of newly resurgent, Viacom.

Comcast claims it has 2.5 billion page views, and 15 million unique visitors per month, and that is just the beginning, says Sramana Mitra. The company started to make the web-push back in December 2005, and since then has bought some market traction.

Comcast’s web efforts pale in front of say, a Google or a MySpace, but the company is leveraging its television/cable assets pretty nicely to build a presence on the web. For instance it is heavily promoting its Facebook Diaries on its cable channels, using its dead inventory. Facebook Diaries appear on Ziddio, a user generated video site owned by Comcast.

Still, the company faces challenges, as the company needs to figure out ways for users to login to portal. In an era when a wide array of web services, Yahoo Mail, YouTube videos and Pageflakes are available to consumers, Comcast will need to ensure that people use its landing page, and make it as a starting point for their web journeys.

9 Responses to “Quietly, a web giant takes shape”

  1. I use the web making feature on Comcast and recently they upgraded giving each user name (you are allowed 6 total)up to 1 Gigabyte for file storage or web making either using their crude WYSIWYG or FPT uploading using Frontpage 2003 etc. Well, for the last 2 or 3 weeks nobody is able to do anything and Comcast keeps saying they are going to fix it. Rumor is out that they gave the responsibility to “AFFINITY” who are known to be very lax in any services. The only way to solve the problem is to contact local and national news networks hoping to get a news clip aired. We pay $43 a month for Comcast internet and the website making is part of the contract that I signed.

  2. Jesse Kopelman

    Kevin, Motorola makes a box with built-in DOCSIS. Even the box you already have is probably upgradeable via a daughterboard for this. They also make a DVR that lets you stream your recorded programs around the house to slave units, which the cable cos will probably offer one of these days unless they get out of the DVR business entirely thanks to pressure from networks who are tired of them making money off of helping you skip commercials. That doesn’t solve the problem of Motorola’s crappy firmware, though. What can you do, as there is not really much competition in the STB space and the big players like Cisco, Microsoft, and Moto are not know for user friendlyness or in the case of MSFT and Moto even general software quality? If you’ve got the big bucks, TiVo is probably the best option. Anyway, Comcast and the like have no interest in giving you direct Internet Access through your STB — why let you use iTunes and other services instead of their VOD/PPV?

  3. Kevin Krewell

    I have Comcast HD cable and cable modem services. What drives me nuts is the poor quality of the Motorola/G.I. HD cable DVR box. It’s sloooowww and prone to hanging.

    To me it would seem to be a no brainer that Comcast to offer a more capable settop box that includes the DOCSIS data modem AND the cable box should have direct Internet access that I can use on my HDTV. What don’t I see here? Wouldn’t that be a great service that Comcast could provide to its customers and also provide a better, more integrated Comcast portal as the default homepage (with configurable information such as weather, traffic, stocks, news, etc)?

  4. Jesse Kopelman

    Well two ways Comcast gets me to use is by offering webmail and free Rhapsody Radio. I use both, on the days I am not working from home.

  5. Do you have any knowledge about these websites that promote DSL deals? How can I be sure if I’m getting the best possible deal? There is one site called that offers several deals. Or should I go directly to the provider?