Comcast’s acquisition of Fandango is just off the wire, and my quick take is that it’s a winner for both companies.
From Comcast’s perspective, it looks like Fandango is going to anchor a new site named Fancast, which the company announced today as well, which will launch this summer. Comcast has been the sleeping the giant of the broadband video space. Though its Comcast.net traffic has grown strongly, the company has stood by while YouTube, MySpace, Apple, Amazon and others have pioneered new and important ground in delivering video over the open broadband Internet.
This paragraph from the press release was key:
“Fancast, which will launch this summer, will be a national entertainment site where people can search and discover television and movie content, while managing their viewing experience across multiple devices. With Fancast, consumers will be able to search for their favorite shows, movies, actors and actresses, or simply enjoy the video content on the site. Fancast will provide consumers with a place to discover when their favorite shows or movies are "on," and where they can view them via television, video-on-demand, online or on other device.”
My bet is that Fancast is a going to be a video-rich site that will also incorporate assets from E!, which is also a Comcast property. Everyone I speak to at the portals says that entertainment/celebrity-oriented material is their best-viewed video. Comcast has a great shot at defining a new entertainment portal that can also serve content to disparate devices. With Comcast (and other MSOs) now moving in the quad-play direction, thinking about video on screens other than just the TV, is critical. It’s great to see Comcast joining the action.