Quietly, a web giant takes shape

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 Comcast.net 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.