A million years ago, and for a very brief period of time, I did some public relations work with the Comcast High-Speed Internet division. At the time, Comcast was pushing its Comcast.net portal as a destination site for news, video, entertainment and applications like photo sharing and shopping. Unfortunately, only Comcast subscribers could access everything on the site, so it wasn’t a very attractive story to the consumer media.
Anyway, today Comcast announced that it’s adding Fandango to its online portal (for $200 million?). Not Comcast.net, but the upcoming Fancast.com. Apparently Fancast will offer search and organizing functionality for video across a number of different devices and channels. (TV, computers, DVDs, etc.) Kind of a modern-day TV Guide.
My question is: do we really need a portal site anymore? I love widgets and would rather get just the content and applications I want in widget form. Sure, I’ll still need a guide to find good content on the Web and on the TV, but why get it on a portal? Widgets are wonderful. Can Fancast.com be anything more than Fandango-tastic?