Comcast Acquires NBC and 30 Million New Online Consumers

Comcast’s $30 billion acquisition of NBC | Universal, announced on December 2nd, has drawn interest from Washington regulators, concern from NBC employees, and speculation from bloggers about how the deal will affect others in the industry.

Here at Compete our first thought was "wow, that’s a lot of web traffic!" Looking at 54 leading web properties, such as Weather.com, Hulu.com, and Eonline.com* that are owned in whole or in part by NBC | Universal or Comcast we found that Comcast properties receive 30 million visitors each month while NBC domains host almost 44 million monthly visitors. This would give Comcast a theoretical reach of 74 million web users, ahead of AOL, MySpace, and Disney’s Go.com as one of the most trafficked companies on the internet. But, will Comcast really reach 44 million new web users with this acquisition, or is there a significant overlap in those that already visit both Comcast and NBC properties?

The chart below captures the overlap between the NBC and Comcast domains we examined.

What we found was that only 30% of current NBC web visitors also frequent Comcast properties. While Comcast’s new reach is not the potential 74 million web users, they are adding over 30 million new web visitors with this acquisition, doubling its online audience reach.

This finding has a host of implications. Comcast can now sell advertisers on this increased reach in cross-channel marketing agreements, demand better ad rates from online marketers, offer special access on more sites to Comcast cable or internet subscribers, and the implications for net neutrality could be part of the imminent regulatory hearings on Capitol Hill.

While it will take considerable time and effort to get all of these different constituencies moving in unison, the opportunity to leverage this huge new online audience will not pass Comcast by. When this deal is completed, expect Comcast to exert its influence as an ISP and as a leading content provider.

*The complete list of sites includes – Comcast: Comcast.com, comcast.terra.com, comcastsportsnet.com, csnbayarea.com, csncalifornia.com, csnchicago.com, css-sports.com, csnne.com, web.sny.tv, csnphilly.com, themtn.tv, csnwashington.com, dailycandy.com, eonline.com, exercisetv.tv, fancast.com, fandango.com, fearnet.com, g4tv.com, thegolfchannel.com, golfnow.com, movies.com, sproutonline.com, plaxo.com, mystyle.com, tvoneonline.com, versus.com, and NBC | Universal: nbc.com, ivillage.com, neversaydiet.com, momtourage.com, astrology.com, gardenweb.com, petside.com, healthvideo.com, travelskoot.com, bravotv.com, televisionwithoutpity.com, syfy.com, cnbc.com, usanetwork.com, oxygen.com, universalsports.com, weather.com, hulu.com, msnbc.com, holamun2.com, universalhd.com, chillertv.com, sleuthchannel.com, accesshollywood.com, nbcsports.com, nbcolympics.com, telemundo.com (Source: www.nbcutransaction.com)